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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.

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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)

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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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In order to monitor the progress of the construction from the air, drone recordings are made every three months. The recordings made in the first quarter of 2020 include the following highlights:

  • The sand depot of OpenIJ at the western part of the Middle Lock island.
  • The separation of the approach channels to the Middle Lock and to the new sea lock.
  • The guard wall and the dividing wall as part of the flood defence structure.
  • The lock gate chambers of the outer head and the inner head.
  • The removal of the temporary walls in the lock gate chamber of the inner head.
  • The flood defence structure at the location where the road and cycle path will be built.
  • The Lock Operation Centre (SOC) and the local control buildings.
Veel gestelde vragen

Construction jargon

Reports on the construction of the New Sea Lock often use a number of technical terms, raising questions such as: 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 January to March 2020. The activities pictured include:

  • Soil supply and the application of asphalt for the future road across the lock complex.
  • Installation of reinforcement steel and concrete pouring for the recess of the outer lock head.
  • Installation of cable protection pipes for cables and pipelines.
  • Realisation of concrete L-walls for final site layout.
  • Backfilling of soil in various places.
  • Concrete pouring of the floor of the lock sill of the outer head, removal of temporary partitions in the lock gate chamber of the inner head and preparations for dredging operations in the lock chamber.

Scheduled activities and obstructions

Some activities and obstructions have been scheduled in connection with the construction of the new sea lock.


Period Activities
August 26 2016 until further notice

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

Overview of prevailing 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 via 0800 - 8002 or For more information, see the website of the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management.

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. Port of Amsterdam sends out a newsletter every quarter, which also contains information about the construction.

If you are interested in the commercial opportunities for your business after the new sea lock has been taken into use, or if you have questions about the new possibilities in logistics and cargo flows after 2022, please contact Port of Amsterdam.

Direct contact with our expert

Jordy Husslage

Jordy Husslage

Hoofd Operatie