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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.

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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 recordings of the construction activities during the second quarter of 2021

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Every quarter, new drone images show the progress of the construction from the air. This can be seen in the drone recording of the second quarter of 2021:

  • New Buitentoeleidingskanaal (outer approach channel)
  • The transport and installation of the fendering system for shipping
  • Lock platforms on the north and south sides are being asphalted
  • Solar panels that will make the Lock Operation Centre (SOC) a net zero-energy building
  • Floating fenders are in place
  • Public road across the locks is open for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Look-out point as part of the site layout
  • Quay at Zuidersluiseiland – a car landing place will also be realised here
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 - Q1 2021

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This is a time-lapse of the activities from January to March 2021. The activities shown in the picture include:

  • The dredging of the outer approach channel to Zeesluis IJmuiden
  • The removal of the lock sill cofferdam of the outer lock head
  • The removal of temporary cables and pipelines
  • The construction of the embankment body for the Flood Defence South
  • Preparation of the site around Zeesluis IJmuiden
  • The asphalting of the Middensluisweg
  • The submerging of the gate chamber and lock sill of the outer lock head
  • Installation of the lock gate in the outer lock head and of the spare lock gate in the dry dock

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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