Belgium: Next Stage of Deurganckdocklock Construction Kicks Off
The Port of Antwerp starts the next stage in building the world’s largest lock.
Mid November 2012, Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister of Transport & Public Works, officially marked this key step during a site visit. The Deurganckdocklock will be the second lock between Waasland, the port area on the left bank of the River Scheldt, and the Waasland Canal link to the North Sea.
Supplementing the existing Kallolock nearby, the Deurganckdocklock will:
● significantly enhance access to the Deurganckdock and other Waasland docks, including for the world’s largest ships
● greatly increase lock system capability, capacity and availability
● facilitate the continued development of Waasland (where planned projects include the lengthening of the Verrebroeck dock and development of the Saeftinghe zone), particularly for increased container traffic
● strengthen the Port of Antwerp’s position as the second-busiest port in Europe
● support Antwerp’s role as a hub in the European Union’s trans-European transport network (TEN-T)
The EU’s European Investment Bank is contributing half (EUR 170 million) of the project cost. KBC Bank is providing a EUR 81 million loan, with the balance coming from Antwerp Port Authority and the Flemish government.
Deurganckdocklock will be the largest lock in the world, with a length of 500 m, a width of 68 m and a depth (relative to the local datum point) of 17.8 m. It is deeper than, but based on the design of, the Port of Antwerp’s Berendrecht lock, which has also acted as a model for upgraded locks on the Panama Canal.
In addition to its size, the Deurganck lock will be notable for its massive concrete L-shaped sluice walls, its rapid filling and emptying, and the two “wheelbarrow type” metal gates at each end.
The Deurganckdocklock will contain:
● 795,000 m³ of reinforced concrete
● 22,000 tonnes of structural steel
● 57,000 m³ of sheet piling reinforcement
Some 255 people are currently working on the Deurganckdocklock project, which began in November 2011. Works include dredging of the approach channel; excavation and some back-filling; concrete construction (started Mid November); and the installation of steel structures such as lock doors and road and rail bridges.
Press Release, November 26, 2012