The gates of the new sea lock at IJmuiden are on their way to the Netherlands. The gates left South Korea by ship on Tuesday night (Dutch time). They are expected to be underway for about two months.
A total of three lock gates are on board the ship. Two of them will be put in operation; the third one will be used as a spare gate. At this moment, OpenIJ is busy with the sinking operation of the lock gate chamber on the seaward side into which one of the operational gates will be fitted. Each of the lock gates is 72 metres long, 24 metres high and 11 metres wide. They weigh about 2,900 tons each. The gates are transported on their sides on what is called a heavy lift ship. This heavy lift ship has a width of 45 metres and as the gates are 72 metres wide they stick out metres on both sides.
New sea lock at IJmuiden
To accommodate increasingly larger ships, a new sea lock is being built at IJmuiden. The construction started in 2016. It will be the largest sea lock in the world. The sea lock ensures that ships can access the ports and port businesses along the North Sea Canal in a safe and efficient way, irrespective of the tide. The new sea lock will be 500 metres long, 70 metres wide and 18 metres deep. The project is a joint venture of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Province of North Holland, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Port of Amsterdam and the Municipality of Velsen. The OpenIJ group of contractors is building the new sea lock on behalf of Rijkswaterstaat, the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management.