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New sea lock

A new large sea lock is being constructed at the entrance of the North Sea Canal at IJmuiden that will provide access to the Amsterdam port region.

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The largest sea lock in the world

The new lock will be 500 metres long, 70 metres wide and 18 metres deep, making it the world’s largest sea lock. Construction began in January 2016 and the new lock will be available for shipping early 2022. From then on, Port of Amsterdam will be accessible 24 hours a day.

Latest updates

  • News item 30-09-2020
    The logistics centre has been relocated
    The OpenIJ Logistics Centre is the place where all materials for the construction of the new sea lock are stored. Initially, the centre was located in Amsterdam's Western Port Area, but recently the site has been relocated and the materials have been stored close to the lock complex. Read more
  • News item 30-09-2020
    A dredged-out lock chamber
    In 11 weeks’ time, 600,000 m3 of sand has been dredged out of the lock chamber by cutter suction dredger ‘Biesbosch’. The lock chamber is now at a depth of 19m below NAP. The bottom of the lock will be made of gravel and concrete which, when completed, will give the lock a maximum depth of 18 metres. Read more
  • News item 30-09-2020
    A name for the new sea lock
    In July, the municipality of Velsen and Rijkswaterstaat launched a competition campaign for the naming of the new sea lock at IJmuiden. And with success: The municipality of Velsen received almost 5000 responses! Read more
  • News item 30-09-2020
    Satisfaction with communication and information has risen again
    Every six months, Rijkswaterstaat examines the satisfaction of local residents, companies and other stakeholders and interested parties with the information and communication of the new sea lock project at IJmuiden. Over the past six months the report marks for Rijkswaterstaat and building consortium OpenIJ have risen again. Read more
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How large is the new lock?

A new sea lock. The biggest in the world. How big is that anyway? Take a look at the video and the fact sheet for all the information.

Download fact sheet (pdf)

What ships can pass through?

What ships can through the new sea lock? Take a look at the animation and check the dimensions of the ships below.

Infographic vessel dimensions (pdf)

Why a new sea lock?

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  • The North Lock will reach the end of its technical service life in 2029 and has become too small for today’s ever-larger seagoing vessels.
  • The New Sea Lock is tide-independent and can be used 24/7.
  • A new large sea lock allows new-generation larger vessels to pass through the North Sea Canal smoothly and safely.
  • With a larger lock, the port has the possibility to grow from today’s 90 million tons to 125 million tons of goods handled per year.



Who is carrying out the work?

Commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management), the new sea lock in IJmuiden will be built by the OpenIJ consortium of contractors during the next few years.

The project is a collaborative venture of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Province of North Holland, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Port of Amsterdam, and the Municipality of Velsen. The project is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T programme.

When will the new sea lock be completed?

The completion of the new sea lock for shipping is scheduled for the early 2022. The first ships may probably start to pass through the new sea lock during the operational test phase.

  • 2020-2021: Start testing of the new sea lock
  • Begin 2022: The new sea lock will be put into operational service

Drone films of the construction

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New drone pictures monitoring the progress of the construction of the new sea lock from the air are made every three months. These are the drone pictures made in the third quarter of 2020 and this is what you can see:

  • The sand depot of OpenIJ on the western part of the Middle Lock island.
  • Outer approach wall - the separation of the approach channel to the Middle Lock from the new sea lock.
  • The guard wall and the dividing wall - both part of the flood defence structure.
  • Lock and Port Information Point ('SHIP').
  • The concrete mixing plant where the concrete is produced.
  • The lock gate chambers of the outer and inner head.
  • The flood defence on top of which the public road and cycle path will be built.
  • The kistdam (cofferdam) acting as a collision protection system.
  • The Lock Operation Centre (SOC) and the local control buildings.
  • The dredging operation of the lock chamber that will be used by ships to pass through.
Veel gestelde vragen

Construction jargon

Reports on the construction of the New Sea Lock often use a number of technical terms. But what exactly is a sheet pile wall and what is a combi wall? What is meant by the diaphragm method and the caisson method? What do these things look like? We have listed the most used terms in a glossary with explanations and visual material.

Go to glossary

Time-lapse of the construction

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This is a time-lapse of the activities from July to September 2020. The following activities can be seen:

  • Dredging of the lock chamber to a level of 18 metres below NAP
  • Removal of sand through floating pipelines to the depot
  • Sand from the lock chamber is being sprayed into the outer approach channel to the North Lock
  • Lock gate of the outer head is put in place with extreme precision
  • The lock gate of the outer head is being tested
  • Work on the flood barrier

Scheduled activities and obstructions

For the construction of the new sea lock work and obstructions are planned. There are also planned activities and closures in connection with regular maintenance of the IJmuiden North Lock and Middle Lock.


Activities and measures in relation to the construction of the IJmuiden New Sea Lock

Period Activities

Activities and measures in relation to maintenance

Period Activities
December 15 2020, 7.00 - 15.00h Closure of the IJmuiden North Lock due to planned maintenance

View all announcements

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For neighbouring residents

The Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management regularly holds consultations with residents, together with OpenIJ about the new sea lock. Regularly a newsletter is being issued to which you can subscribe.

Do you have questions or complaints on the construction work? Please contact the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) via 0800 - 8002. For more information, see the website of Rijkswaterstaat.

For businesses in the port

Port of Amsterdam regularly consults with the ORAM Amsterdam Region Business Association, agents, port service providers and customers on the effects of the construction on shipping. Also subscribe to our newsletter for information about the construction of the sea lock

Are you interested in the commercial opportunities for your business after the new sea lock has been taken into use? Or do you have questions about the new possibilities in logistics and cargo flows after 2022? Please contact us.

Direct contact with our expert

Jordy Husslage
Jordy Husslage

Head Operations

+31 20 523 47 54