IJmuiden sea lock opens

The world’s largest sea lock has opened in Amsterdam.

Measuring 500 metres long, 70 metres wide and 18 metres deep, the record-breaking Zeesluis IJmuiden is one of the biggest infrastructure projects seen in the Netherlands. It allows ships to use the lock 24/7, tide-independently, and to sail smoothly to the Port of Amsterdam region.

King of the Netherlands opens the IJmuiden sea lock in AmsterdamThe King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander opened the lock on 26 January

It holds 630 million litres of water, equivalent to 252 Olympic swimming pools, with space for ships up to 399 metres long and 57 metres wide.

It replaces the Noordersluis, which was due for replacement after nearly 100 years. 

World-leading logistics and engineering

The lock is a major cornerstone of the development of the Port of Amsterdam, which aims to be a sustainable and circular energy and raw materials hub. The energy transition is in full swing – Amsterdam has the ambition to be almost completely climate neutral by 2050. The Port of Amsterdam offers opportunities for sea freight with, for example, large ships in the offshore industry that extract gas in the North Sea or maintain wind farms.

The lock also solidifies the Amsterdam Area’s position as one of the best connected regions in the world. As Western Europe’s fourth-largest port, the Port of Amsterdam is one of the world’s key international logistics hubs, providing companies with access to more than 500 million potential customers across the Europe.

And, the feat of engineering is testament to the Netherlands’ long history of water management, from holding back the tides to building densely populated cities below sea level.

The lock was opened by the King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander on 26 January, following five years of construction. The lock is a collaboration between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the province of North Holland, the municipality of Amsterdam, the municipality of Velsen and the Port of Amsterdam. 

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