New large sea lock

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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.

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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Project updates

Drone films of the construction

In order to monitor the progress of the construction from the air, drone recordings are made every three months. In the drone film of the first three months of 2019, the following highlights are visible from the air: the walls under construction of the inner head (on the North Sea Canal side), the outer head (seaward side), the dividing wall, the western part of Middensluiseiland, the Lock Operation Centre (SOC), the construction of the lock sill cofferdam of the outer head (for opening and closing, the future outer gate will run across the lock sill), and the installation of anchors onto the lock chamber walls.

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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.


Sea lock

These are the facts!

From early 2022, Port of Amsterdam will be home to a new, large sea lock. How big is this lock, and who will build it?

Now is the time to consider new opportunities!

A new sea lock - the largest in the world. How large, and what ships can pass through? You will find all the information you need right here.

Animation about the sea lock

What will be the size of the lock, and what ships can pass through? This will all be clearly explained in this animation!

Dimensions of ocean-going vessels

The largest sea lock in the world! What ships will it be able to pass through?


Scheduled activities and obstructions

Zeesluis icon

Some activities and obstructions have been scheduled in connection with the construction of the New Sea Lock. There are also scheduled activities and obstructions in connection with regular maintenance work to the North Lock and Middle Lock. An overview of the scheduled activities and obstructions of the North Lock and Middle Lock is given below.


Activities and obstructions in connection with the construction of the New Sea Lock

Periode Werkzaamheden
26 augustus 2016 until further notice Activities and measures in relation to the construction of the IJmuiden New Sea Lock

Activities and obstruction of the IJmuiden North and Middle Lock

Period Activities North Lock
12 November 2019 from 07.00 to 19.00 hours LT.
If, due to circumstances, these activities cannot be carried out on 12 November 2019, they will be carried out on 19 November 2019.
The closure will be as short a possible or as long as necessary.
Closures of the IJmuiden North Lock


Overview of prevailing Announcements


Direct contact with our expert

Everhard van den Brakel

Everhard van den Brakel

Project manager sea lock


Lees meer

Read more about the new sea lock

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.

Want to stay informed?

The construction of the new sea lock can be followed on Facebook; Facebook you can also subscribe to our newsletter.

Do you have any questions, reports, complaints or comments regarding the construction work? Please contact Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, through the national Information number 0800 - 8002 (available free of charge daily from 6.00 am to 10.30 pm) or send an email to See the project page ‘building a new, large sea lock’ on the website of the Rijkswaterstaat IJmuiden..

When will the new sea lock be completed?

The world’s largest sea lock at IJmuiden provides access to the Amsterdam port area. Construction works will be carried out at the lock complex for the duration of the construction period. The parties involved in the construction of the new sea lock will do everything possible to ensure that shipping traffic can pass smoothly and safely.

1st half of 2016 Preparatory work including removal of the South Lock Island
Mid-2016 Re-routing of the inner approach channel to the Middle Lock & start of the construction of the new sea lock
2017 Contours of the new sea lock will become visible
Spring-2019 The gates of the new sea lock will be manoeuvred into place
2020-2021 Start testing of the new sea lock
Early 2022 The new sea lock will be put into operational service

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.

Why a new sea lock?

  • 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.