The brand new giant gates for the Deurganck dock locks have arrived earlier today at the Port of Antwerp on board the heavy lift vessel Zhen Hua 15.
This ship left China at the beginning of April carrying four giant lock gates together with the trolleys on which they will run, two combined road and rail bridges in sections and the dam caisson.
According to Marine Traffic data, the Hong Kong-flagged heavy lifter, with the giant cargo on board, is at anchor in Antwerp Area.
The Deurganck dock lock will be 4 m deeper than the Berendrecht lock, making way for larger ships that are now coming into operation. The four lock doors have dimensions of 70 × 11 × 27 m (LxWxH) and weigh 2,000 tonnes each.
The gates were built by the Chinese steel constructor Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC).
Unloading of the behemoth cargo will take about two weeks, followed by manoeuvring of the lock gates into position, which will be a feat of engineering in itself.
The Deurganck dock lock, the largest lock in the world, is due to become operational in 2016. The filling of the dock started on April 27th.
Situated on the left bank of the River Scheldt, the construction of the lock had a price tag of EUR 340 mil, with 50% of its cost financed by the EIB.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: Shipspotting/Stan Muller