According to the Antwerp Port Authority, the Deurganckdocklock will achieve huge benefits including:
â— significantly enhancing access to the Deurganckdock and other Waasland docks, especially for the world’s largest ships
â— greatly increasing lock system capability, capacity and availability
â— facilitating 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
â— strengthening the Port of Antwerp’s position as the second-busiest port in Europe
â— supporting Antwerp’srole as a hub in the European Union’s trans-European transport network (TEN-T)
The EU’s European Investment Bank is contributing 50% of the project cost (EUR 170m), KBC Bank is providing a EUR 81m loan, and the balance will provided by the Antwerp Port Authority and the Flemishgovernment.
Deurganckdocklockwillbe the largestlockin 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 based on the design of the Port of Antwerp’s Berendrecht lock, which has also acted as a model for the upgraded locks on the Panama Canal.
In addition to its size, the Deurgancklock will be notable for its massive concrete L-shaped sluice walls, itsrapid filling and emptying, and the two “wheelbarrow type” metal gates at each end.
â— 795,000 m³ of reinforced concrete
â— 22,000 tonnes of structural steel
â— 57,000 m³ of sheet pilingreinforcement
Some 255 people are currentlyworking on the Deurganckdocklockproject, whichegan in November 2011. Works include dredging the approach channel; excavation and some back-filling; concrete construction and the installation of steel structures such as lockdoors and road and rail bridges.