World’s Biggest Lock Officially Opened

Image Courtesy: Antwerp Port Authority

The Kieldrecht lock at the Belgium’s Port of Antwerp has been inaugurated today when H.M. King of Belgium officially opened this, now the world’s largest lock, by pressing the button to symbolically mark the inauguration.

King Filip of Belgium was joined by MM. Ben Weyts, Flemish Minister for Transport and Mobility, Werner Hoyer, EIB President and Marc Van Peel, President of the Port of Antwerp.

The new lock is located at the end of the Deurganck dock on the left bank of the Scheldt and with a maritime connection between the Scheldt and the Waasland canal.

Via this lock, ships have access to all the other docks on the left bank encompassing Doel dock, Verrebroek dock, Vrasene dock and the Northern and Southern mooring docks.

The first and biggest ship to cross the lock is MS Grande Lagos, owned by the shipping company Grimaldi Lines.

“The Kieldrecht lock embodies some of the goals of a Union seeking more growth, competitiveness and jobs. As Europe is slowly stepping out of the economic crisis and so as to make sure that our single market and international trade prosper, we need a connected Union, without barriers, with efficient, viable and sustainable transport infrastructure and networks,”  Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB said at the opening ceremony.

Being now the largest lock in the world, the Kieldrecht lock is 500 meters long, 68 meters wide and 17.8 meters deep. It contains 22,000 tonnes of steel, what is three times as much as the Eiffel tower.

Launched in November 2011, the construction of the Kieldrecht lock is one of the largest Flemish infrastructure projects of the past few years. It was led by THV Waaslandsluis, a cooperation between Jan De Nul NV (JDN), BAM Contractors, Herbosch-Kiere and Antwerpse Bouwwerken.

The following video gives you a taste of the complexity of the project:

The construction of the lock was necessary in order to ensure better access to the port area on the left bank of the Scheldt, as the existing Kallo lock reached its limit.

The Kieldrecht lock construction is estimated to have cost EUR 382 million (around USD 431 million).

The new lock is to provide security of operation, as each lock can act as a backup for the other, according to the Port of Antwerp.

With the Kieldrecht lock, the Port of Antwerp will be able to handle increased size of modern ships. The new lock is also aimed at providing shorter waiting times for ships, more shipping traffic and faster routes for ships and for hinterland transport.

In addition, the project fits in with the ambition of the European Union to develop a transnational, multimodal transport network by 2030.

World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Port of Antwerp, Belgian Royal Palace; Video Courtesy: JDN Group

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>

Events>

<< Dec 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Maritime Information Warfare 2017

Maritime Information Warfare will focus on the growing need for navies to develop their information exploitation capabilities…

read more >

INTERNATIONAL GREEN SHIPPING AND TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT

The Summit will gather key marine experts and companies around the globe which have a big influence in the industry…

read more >

The CWC 18th Annual World LNG Summit & Awards Evening

The CWC World LNG Summit will continue to give you access to premium networking opportunities as it brings together the who’s who…

read more >

Marintec China 2017

The largest maritime event in Asia Pacific, Marintec China connects maritime professionals from the entire shipbuilding supply chain together.

Over the years, Marintec China has grown to reflect the size and importance of the Asian maritime market. 2015 event is another record-breaking edition with the largest exhibition area and the highest number of industry professionals attending ever. The encouraging figures proven that China remains one of the major shipbuilding nations and Marintec China has been the most authoritative platform in Asia.

With the maritime industry facing great opportunities but also many challenges, it is important for the industry to connect and engage more to ultimately win new business in globally-significant markets. A visit to Marintec China is a great way to learn about the latest technology and innovation of the supply industry, a platform for industry professional to meet face to face, make connection and do business.

Marintec China is poised to be the definitive event and is undoubtedly a must-attend for all involved in the maritime industry.

Marintec China will be held from 5 to 8 December 2017 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Shanghai, China and continue its dedication to serve as the “LEADING” platform “CONNECTING” the community and “STRENGTHENING” the maritime industry.

Marintec China offers the perfect opportunity for companies serving the maritime market to showcase their innovations, products and services to a wide audience. A platform for face to face meetings in business, creating new relationships and consolidating existing ones.

More info

read more >