New World’s Largest Lock at Port of Antwerp Being Filled With Water

An illustration of the Deurganck dock lock.
An illustration of the Deurganck dock lock.

About 1 and a half million cubic meters of water is now being pumped into the new Deurganck dock lock at the Port of Antwerp, which is set to become the world’s largest lock upon its completion in 2016.

The lock is the second lock to be located at the Port of Antwerp in Waasland Port, a docking area on the left bank of the Scheldt river. Since the Scheldt is impacted by tides, the new lock will guarantee access to the docks, where the water level is always at its max.

The Kallo lock, currently the only one in this part of the port, has already reached its maximum capacity, while the new lock will allow the area of the port to handle even the largest ships.

Like the Berendrecht Lock in the north of the Port of Antwerp, the Deurganck dock lock chamber will measure 500 meters long by 58 meters wide, but with a depth of 17.8 meters deep – about 4 meters deeper than the Berendrecht Lock, which is currently the world’s largest. The Deurganck dock lock will feature four rolling gates, which are currently en route from China.

The operation to fill the lock with water kicked off Monday is expected to take approximately 7 days.

Freight volume at Waasland Port is expected to increase from around 16 million tonnes in 2011 to more than 25 million tonnes in 2020, an increase of 56%, according to the Port of Antwerp.

The cost for building the second lock in Waasland Port is put at Euro 382 million, which is being co-financed by the Flemish Region and the Antwerp Port Authority.

The new lock is expected to be operational in 2016.

Photo: Port of Antwerp/Annik Dirkx
Photo: Port of Antwerp/Annik Dirkx