On Sunday the 20th of Januarythe first of a total of 3 doors of the new sea lock arrived in IJmuiden. This door was transported to its final destination by a tugboat across the North Sea. With a stopover on the 'Tweede Maasvlakte', the door has covered more than 26.000 km between South Korea and IJmuiden. The transport over the last 80 km took 30 hours and went smoothly.
Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, is happy with the arrival of the door: 'It is nice that after a long journey the first lock gate has arrived at its destination. It is a milestone for this project and the start of a new chapter in the construction of the largest sea lock in the world. "The lock door with a size of 72 meters long, 24 meters high and 11 meters wide was towed floating to IJmuiden. The closed construction of the door can be compared to a ship. The doors have air chambers so they stay afloat despite their weight of 3.000 tons. Ballast tanks filled with water provided the stability.
The transport is very weather dependent. The height of the waves and the force and direction of the wind determined whether there was any danger for transport. In addition, high tide in IJmuiden is needed to drag the deep-set doors through the Noordersluis. In the coming period, as soon as the weather permits, the other two doors will be towed from the Maasvlakte to IJmuiden.
All the technology that is necessary for the doors to function properly is manufactured in the Netherlands and is built here. It concerns the electrical and hydraulic installations such as wheel trolleys, the drive of the doors and the technical areas. One of the doors will be completed in an excavated part of the future chamber of the new sealock. The other two in the western port area of Amsterdam.
The three doors arrived in the Netherlands on 6 December from South Korea. On the Second Maasvlakte they were removed from the transport ship the Talisman by partially sinking the ship. This caused the doors to float. Then they are set right by tilting them 90 degrees. This was not possible in IJmuiden because there was insufficient depth. In addition, during the sinking of the three doors, the ship would completely block the passage to and from the locks during a 24-hour period.
New sea lock IJmuiden
In order to provide space for ever-expanding seagoing vessels, in 2016 IJmuiden has been working on the construction of the largest sea lock in the world. The new lock will be 500 meters long, 70 meters wide and 18 meters deep. The project is a joint venture between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the province of Noord-Holland, the municipality of Amsterdam, Port of Amsterdam and the municipality of Velsen. Contractor consortium OpenIJ is building the new sea lock on behalf of Rijkswaterstaat. The lock is expected to be operational in January 2022.
Photo: Gerrit Serne
Author: Esther Lebbink