New large 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.

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 at the end of 2019. From then on, the port of Amsterdam will be accessible 24 hours a day.


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Project updates

The New Sea Lock - what's happening in March?

In the coming months, Open IJ - the building contractor - will continue with the construction of the two lock heads and the lock chamber walls of the New Sea Lock using the method explained in the January update.

Successful boat trip to new lock for clients

The first boat trip to the site where the new lock, that will be the world’s largest, is being built took place on 28 February 2017.
Diepwanden maken

New Sea Lock - what's happening in February?

Planned for construction in February are the following elements of the new lock: the lock heads, the caissons and the lock chamber walls.

New sea lock: What's happening in January?

Works are carried out on both sides of the IJmuiden North Lock and the concrete mixing plant has become operational

“Dina M” and “Wijslift 4”

December 2016 - High cranes and large pontoons on both sides of the entrance to the North lock.

Middle Lock Island significantly enlarged

October 2016 - This month’s ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures are a sight to behold.

Adjustments Middle Lock

September 2016 - The OpenIJ consortium inaugurated its logistics centre in the Amsterdam western port area last month so that building materials such as sheet and tubular piling can now be transported to the lock complex across the water.

Time to consider new possibilities Port of Amsterdam

These are the facts!

From the end of 2019, Port of Amsterdam will be home to a new, large sea lock. How big is this lock, and who will build it?

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!

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.

 Dimensions ocean going vessels Port of Amsterdam

Dimensions of ocean-going vessels

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


Direct contact with our expert

Andre Mulder

Divisie Havenmeester
Hoofd Operatie
Tel: +31 6 836 37 183

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.

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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.

Schedule 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 Mid-2018 The gates of the new sea lock will be manoeuvred into place End of 2018 Start testing of the new sea lock 2019 The new sea lock will be put into operational service
The completion of the new sea lock for shipping is scheduled for the end of 2019. 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.
  • 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.