New Lock Terneuzen, Terneuzen, The Netherlands

Research into the maritime access of the Channel Zone between Terneuzen and Gent complex in Terneuzen showed a capacity problem for inland shipping and future problems are to be expected for seagoing vessels regarding dimensions, availability and reliability of passage. Flamish Dutch Schelde Commity VNSC decided on a new sea lock. The new sea lock provides better and smoother access from the Westerschelde to the Channel of Ghent to Terneuzen and thus stimulating economic activities in both Zeeuws-Flamish and Flamish regions.

The size of Panama Canal locks

The construction of a new lock in the existing lock complex provides better access and a smoother flow of the increasing maritime traffic for both inland and seagoing vessels. With the new lock the capacity of the locks increases, reducing waiting time for inland vessels. The New Lock complex is as large as the locks in the Panama Canal, measuring 427 meter long, 55 meters wide and 16.44 meters deep. The lock accommodates large seagoing vessels up to 366 meters long, 49 meters wide and 15 meters deep. The first ship is set to sail through the New Lock in 2024.

“New Lock Terneuzen” (in short NLT) comprises the design and construction including two years of maintenance of a new lock within the existing lock facility Terneuzen. A crucial and limiting factor during construction of the new lock is to keep the old lock in operation. While constructing of the new lock, we upgrade the complete lock area with new facilities and improve the safety, accessibility and maintainability of the complex by using our Virtual Safety Reality tool. For these purposes two operable bascule bridges, a new service port, a new building for the service port and a control building for the lock are built. The underlying road network has been modified to improve accessibility to the lock area by land. Both the outer and inner harbors are dredged to provide access to the lock. During maintenance phase, this depth needs to be maintained. The primary and regional water defenses have been modified to ensure high tide safety in the future as well. Building the new lock led to the demolition of the old middle lock as part of the works. The old lock was systematically demolished using explosives. 

End-to-end design

We conducted end-to-end design and studies of the new lock including the design of a temporary channel to keep the old lock in service during construction of the new lock. The lock chamber contains two concrete caissons through which the water is levelled symmetrically. As well we performed the temporary works, stability calculations for immersion of these caissons and the design of a temporary public road bridge crossing the lock chamber to maintain access to Terneuzen. 

50m long diaphragm walls

We performed nautical safety studies and design for the construction phases, studies on wave forces acting on berthing facilities and a floating wave reduction construction. It also managed the 3D flow modelling study (performed by Svasek) determining currents in the outer harbour of the locks, caused by tide and outflow of the lock for governing construction phases. For this project 50m long diaphragm walls were designed in close cooperation between the design department, material technology department and BAM Funderingstechnieken. The diaphragm walls demonstrated a high quality performance and showed negligible damage after excavation. 

Facts and Figures

Terneuzen, The Netherlands

Sea lock complex

Flamish Dutch Schelde Commity (VNSC)

Our client

BAM, DEME, Stadsbader, Van Laere en Equans (Sassenvaart JV)

Completion design

The current lock is constrained for inland shipping and anticipates forthcoming issues for ocean vessels concerning size, accessibility, and passage dependability

Design and construct a new sea lock for improved access for larger ships while maintaining the functionality of the existing lock