Kieldrecht lock opens in the port of Antwerp
In the port of Antwerp the Lock of Kieldrecht has been officially opened today for commercial shipping by His Majesty the King of Belgium. In front of the Port Company and the Maritime Access Department, His Majesty the King of Belgium pressed the button at 10h20 sharp thus opening the lock gates for the first vessel Grande Lagos, belonging to the shipping company Grimaldi, symbolically a company established in the Waasland Port, the company said in its press release.
The Lock of Kieldrecht connects the Dock of Deurganck, the tidal dock where container vessels arrive, and the Waasland Canal, the connection with the other docks in the Waasland Port on the left bank of the Scheldt in Antwerp. The lock was built because the Lock of Kallo had become too small for the increasingly large commercial vessels. With its width of 68m, its length of 500m and its depth of 27m, the Lock of Kieldrecht can from now on be called the world’s largest lock, closely followed by the Lock of Berendrecht, the same type of lock, also located in the Port of Antwerp, and the new locks in the Panama Canal, which will also be opened officially this year on the 26st of June.
The construction of the Lock of Kieldrecht started in 2011 and was led by THV Waaslandsluis, a cooperation between Jan De Nul NV, BAM Contractors, Herbosch-Kiere and Antwerpse Bouwwerken. The lock is in many ways a superlative: in all 5,500,000 m3 of ground was excavated, 800,000m3 of concrete was poured and 55,000 tonnes of reinforced steel were placed. On top of that, another 12,000 tonnes of steel were processed in 4 lock gates and 2 bascule bridges.