Image Courtesy: Port of Amsterdam

The outlines of the new sea lock at the entrance of the North Sea Canal, a Dutch ship canal from Amsterdam to the North Sea at IJmuiden, are now becoming clearly visible from the air. In the coming months, consortium Open IJ plans to continue the construction of the two lock heads and the lock chamber walls, the Port of Amsterdam said. 

On the construction site, the lock chamber walls are springing up – about 7.5 meters of them are being built each day. In the ground, the first 120 meters of a total of 1,650 meters of diaphragm wall have been completed.

Additionally, the cofferdam of the lock gate chamber of the inner lock head has been drained. The cofferdam of the outer lock head will follow at the end of the month. The port said that the concreting works will start as soon as the cofferdams have been drained.

Aimed at improving the accessibility of the port, offering space for the ever growing ships independent of the tidal levels, the new lock will be 500 meters long.

Separately, the Port of Amsterdam said it plans, together with Rotterdam-based oil storage company Vopak, to invest in additional vessel handling infrastructure at Vopak Terminal Amsterdam Westpoort.

Under the plan, one jetty will be extended with one berth for seagoing vessels, and a new quay wall with two berths for barges will be built.

This will bring the total number of berths to four for seagoing vessels and ten for barges by the end of 2018.

Pumping capacity at the terminal will also be increased, according to the Port of Amsterdam.

“The high throughput volumes at our … terminal can occasionally result in queues for vessels and barges. This investment will increase the vessel handling capabilities at our terminal,” Ramon Ernst, Managing Director Vopak Terminal Amsterdam Westpoort, explained.

As disclosed, the new infrastructure will be highly automated and fully connected to the vapor recovery unit.

Furthermore, the Port of Amsterdam revealed it intends to buy energy for ships mooring in the port in partnership with EXE and Senfal without the intervention of an energy supplier.

“Our aim is to ultimately be able to meet the port’s energy needs through our own green energy generation. This shore power project is a forerunner of this,” Robin Schipper, Port of Amsterdam’s Sustainable Energy Programme Manager, said.