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Berendrecht Lock

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Title: Berendrecht Lock  
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Subject: Berendrecht, DEME, Panama Canal
Collection: Buildings and Structures in Antwerp, Locks of Belgium
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Berendrecht Lock

Berendrecht Lock (right) and Zandvliet Lock (left), located at the entrance to the Port of Antwerp (top) from the Scheldt (fore ground)
Map showing location of the Berendrecht Lock (marked Berendrechtsluis) within the Port of Antwerp
Sanko Confidence (IMO 9280366) in the Berendrecht Lock, May 2005

The Berendrecht Lock is the world's largest lock, giving access to the rightbank docks of the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.


  • Background 1
  • Construction 2
  • Dimensions 3
  • New leftbank lock 4
  • New Panama Canal 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Post World War II, work started on the Grote Doorsteek, an ambitious plan which ultimately resulted in the extension of the Antwerp docks on the right bank of the Scheldt to the Netherlands border. In 1967, the company completed the construction of the Zandvliet Lock (Zandvlietsluis), then the world's largest lock at:

  • Length: 500 metres (1,600 ft)
  • Width: 57 metres (187 ft)
  • Operational Depth (TAW): 13.58 metres (44.6 ft)
  • Sill depth at mean high water: 17.75 metres (58.2 ft)


In 1989, needing to accommodate wider Post-Panamax ship, the company built a new lock just to the south of the Zandvliet lock. The Berendrecht Lock, which at 68 metres (223 ft), is 11 metres (36 ft) wider. Bascule bridges at the ends of each lock, (Zandvliet and Frederik-Hendrik bridges across the Zandlievet lock; and Oudendijk and Berendrecht bridges across the Berendrecht lock), allow full road traffic access around the port.[1] The two locks now work as a doubled lock system.

Completion of the Berendrecht Lock allowed the extended development of the left bank docks complex, and later the creation of fast turnround tidal berths, both on the right bank (Europa Terminal and the North Sea Terminal), and on the left bank (Deurganck Dock).[2]


  • Length: 500 metres (1,600 ft)
  • Width: 68 metres (223 ft)
  • Operational Depth (TAW): 13.5 metres (44 ft)
  • Sill depth at mean high water: 17.75 metres (58.2 ft)
  • No. Lock Gates: four, sliding lock gates

On both length and total volume (length x breadth x the difference in water levels), the Berendrecht Lock is the largest in the world

New leftbank lock

In November 2011, work started on what will become the world's new largest lock on the left bank of the Scheldt. Based on the design of the Berendrecht Lock and scheduled to be completed in 2016, it has the same basic dimensions of the Berendrecht, but with an operational depth (TAW) of 17.8 metres (58 ft), which will make it the world's largest lock. The new lock will be at the end of the Deurganck dock, to provide the Leftbank docks access to the sea between the Scheldt and the Waasland Canal. To construct the lock, 9.1 million m³ of earth will be excavated, and 22,000 tonnes of structural steel, three times the amount required to build the Eiffel Tower. Costing €340 million, of which 50% will be financed by the European Investment Bank, the Flemish KBC Bank is also making available a €81 million credit line, with the balance provided by the Antwerp Port Authority and the Flemish Government.[3]

New Panama Canal

In July 2009, it was announced that the Belgian dredging company Jan De Nul, together with a consortium of contractors consisting of the Spanish Sacyr Vallehermoso, the Italian Impregilo and the Panamanian company Grupo Cusa, had been awarded the contract to build the six new locks on the enlarged Panama Canal to accommodate larger Post-Panamax vessels. The contract will result in $100 million in dredging works over the next few years for the Belgian company and a great deal of work for the company's construction division. The design of the locks is similar to the Berendrecht Lock, but on a smaller scale, which De Nul helped build. The company still has engineers and specialists who were part of that project.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Bascule bridges at the Berendrecht lock in the port of Antwerp, Belgium". Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  2. ^ Antwerp - Portrait of a Port, George van Cauwenbergh, Antwerpse Lloyd - Antwerpen 1983
  3. ^ "Works start on the world’s largest lock at Antwerp Port". 23 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  4. ^ "De Nul dredging company to build locks in Panama Canal". Flanders Today. 2009-07-17. 

External links


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