This content is not available in your region

Dutch King Willem-Alexander unveils 'world's largest' sea lock

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews  with EBU
euronews_icons_loading
Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander (C) arrives to attend the opening and inauguration of the IJmuiden Sea Lock in Ijmuiden on January 26, 2022.
Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander (C) arrives to attend the opening and inauguration of the IJmuiden Sea Lock in Ijmuiden on January 26, 2022.   -   Copyright  REMKO DE WAAL / ANP / AFP

Dutch King Willem-Alexander officially opened the Ijmuiden Sea Lock on Wednesday, which is claimed to be the largest sea lock in the world, according to authorities.

The 500-metre long and 70-metre wide sluice replaces a smaller, nearly 100-year-old one at Ijmuiden, a small port city connecting the North Sea Canal to the port of Amsterdam.

Construction on the massive infrastructure project began in 2016 and was meant to be done by 2019, but was only completed in 2021 by the OpenIJ consortium.

It also went over the initially planned budget by around €300 million.

ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN / AFP
An aerial picture shows IJmuiden sea lock, the world's largest sea lock which replaces the lock that has become too small for the ever-growing sea-going vessels.ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN / AFP

The new sea lock will greatly improve the accessibility of the Port of Amsterdam and stimulate the region's economy by providing tide-independent space for the increasingly large seafaring vessels.

The structure is also deep enough that ships will no longer have to wait for a favourable water level to enter the canal.

Over the last couple of months, the new Ijmuiden lock has been tested extensively in order to make it ready for its official opening.