Antwerp Ready to Inaugurate Kieldrecht Lock
On June 10, the King of Belgium will officially open the Kieldrecht lock at the Port of Antwerp.
Construction of the Kieldrecht lock is one of the largest Flemish infrastructure projects of the past few years. The lock was needed to ensure better access to the port area on the left bank of the Scheldt, as the existing Kallo lock had reached its limits.
As a result of the new development, the port of Antwerp will be able to handle the increased size of modern ships and to maintain and even reinforce the port's leading position in Europe. The new lock offers advantages including shorter waiting times for ships and faster routes for ships and for hinterland transport.
The project also fits in with the ambition of the European Union to develop a transnational, multimodal transport network by 2030. The port of Antwerp is an important hub for the new E.U. core transport network. Seaports play a crucial role as logistics centers and have need of efficient hinterland connections. Their development is essential in order to cope with the constantly growing cargo volumes, both for shortsea shipping within Europe and for intercontinental shipping.
The lock is located at the end of the Deurganck dock on the Left bank of the Scheldt and with a maritime connection between the Scheldt and the Waasland canal. It is 500 meters (1640 feet) long, 68 meters (220 feet) wide and 17.8 meters (58 feet) deep. Construction started in November 2011 and involved the use of 22,000 tons of steel (three times as much as the Eiffel tower). It takes seven days to fill the lock with water.