The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide EUR 165 million (187.5m) to support the construction of a new sea lock at IJmuiden, the principal access to the Dutch Port of Amsterdam.
The current Noordersluis lock was built in 1929 and the new larger lock will ensure that the next generation of bulk carriers, container ships and cruise ships can continue to access the Port of Amsterdam and the North Sea Canal, and is expected to reduce waiting time for ships.
The new sea lock will be 500 meters long, 70 meters wide and 18 meters deep, and able to operate in all tides. The IJmuiden sea lock is expected to support economic activity both along the North Sea canal and for companies using the Port of Amsterdam, Europe’s fourth busiest port.
Europe’s long-term investment institution will provide 33% of the debt financing for the project, alongside a consortium of banks including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, UniCredit Bank, DZ BANK and KfW IPEX-Bank, whereas Rabobank is providing an equity bridge facility.
The lock is procured as a public private partnership of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment through Rijkswaterstaat, and is supported by the province of North Holland and the municipality of Amsterdam.
“90% of Europe’s international trade passes through ports and upgrading the IJmuiden sea lock complex is crucial to ensuring the Port of Amsterdam’s leading role. Amsterdam has more distribution centres than any other region in Europe and the port supports companies dependent on logistics across the Netherlands and northern Europe,” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President.