The world’s largest lock has been opened in Antwerp


Recently, King Philippe of Belgium has inaugurated the world’s largest lock in Antwerp. The Kieldrecht lock has as length of 500 metres, a width of 68 metres and a depth of 17.8 metres. The MS Grande Lagos, a ship of the Grimaldi shipping company, was the first to pass the lock.

The Kieldrecht lock, situated on the west side of the Deurganck lock, provides a second rapid access to the Waasland port on the left bank of the Scheldt. Besides, the new lock is key to increasing the competitiveness of the port of Antwerp in relation to other major international ports.  At the same time this extra access to the Waasland port is to attract new economic activities to Belgium. 

In 2011 the Flemish government gave the go-ahead for the construction of the Deurganckdok lock, the initial name for the Kieldrecht lock. In a first phase,  9.1 million m³ of earth were excavated, after which 795,000 m³ of reinforced concrete were needed for the foundations. Afterwards 22,000 tonnes of construction materials were required for finishing the lock. The overall project has cost 382 million euros.

Especially for the construction of the Kieldrecht lock, the Belgian artist Cazn made a gigantic painting on the lock walls measuring 300 metres to 9 metres. Part of the painting disappears and reappears according to the tides.