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Published: 26 November 2012      

Antwerp's Deurganckdok lock takes another step

The first concrete has been laid for the Port of Antwerp’s €340M Deurganckdok lock, touted as the largest in the world

Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister of Transport & Public Works, officially marked this key step during a site visit. The Deurganckdock lock 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 and nearby Kallo lock, the Deurganckdock lock will, says the port, significantly enhance access to the Deurganckdock and other Waasland docks, including for the world’s largest ships. It will 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.

The European Investment Bank is contributing half (€170M) of the project cost. KBC Bank is providing a €81M loan, with the balance coming from Antwerp Port Authority and the Flemish government.

Deurganckdock lock will be the largest lock in the world, with a length of 500m, a width of 68 m and a depth relative to the local datum point of 17.8m. 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.

Some 255 people are currently working on the Deurganckdock lock project, which began in November 2011. Works include dredging of the approach channel, excavation and some back-filling, concrete construction and the installation of steel structures such as lock doors and road and rail bridges.

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