Berendrecht Lock

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Berendrecht Lock (right) and Zandvliet Lock (left), located at the entrance to the Port of Antwerp (top) from the Scheldt (foreground)
Map showing location of the Berendrecht Lock (marked Berendrechtsluis) within the Port of Antwerp
Sanko Confidence (IMO 9280366) in the Berendrecht Lock, May 2005

The Berendrecht Lock is the world's second largest lock, giving access to the right-bank docks of the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.


Post World War II, work started on the Grote Doorsteek, an ambitious plan which ultimately resulted in the extension of the Antwerp docks on the right bank of the Scheldt to the Netherlands border. In 1967, the company completed the construction of the Zandvliet Lock (Zandvlietsluis), then the world's largest lock.


In 1989, needing to accommodate wider Post-Panamax ship, the company built a new lock just to the south of the Zandvliet lock. The Berendrecht Lock, which at 68 metres (223 ft), is 11 metres (36 ft) wider. Bascule bridges at the ends of each lock, (Zandvliet and Frederik-Hendrik bridges across the Zandlievet lock; and Oudendijk and Berendrecht bridges across the Berendrecht lock), allow full road traffic access around the port.[1] The two locks now work as a doubled lock system.

Completion of the Berendrecht Lock allowed the extended development of the right bank docks complex, and later the creation of fast turnround tidal berths, both on the right bank (Europa Terminal and the North Sea Terminal), and on the left bank (Deurganck Dock).[2]


The dimensions of the Berendrecht Lock are as follows:

  • Length: 500 metres (1,600 ft)
  • Width: 68 metres (223 ft)
  • Operational Depth (TAW): 13.5 metres (44 ft)
  • Sill depth at mean high water: 17.75 metres (58.2 ft)
  • No. Lock Gates: four, sliding lock gates

On both length and total volume (length x breadth x the difference in water levels), the Berendrecht Lock is the second largest in the world.

New leftbank lock[edit]

In November 2011, work started on the Kieldrecht Lock that became in June 2016 the world's new largest lock on the left bank of the Scheldt. Based on the design of the Berendrecht Lock, it has the same length and width, but with an operational depth (TAW) of 17.8 metres (58 ft).[3]

New Panama Canal[edit]

In July 2009, it was announced that the Belgian dredging company Jan De Nul,[4] together with a consortium of contractors consisting of the Spanish Sacyr Vallehermoso, the Italian Impregilo and the Panamanian company Grupo Cusa, had been awarded the contract to build the six new locks on the enlarged Panama Canal to accommodate larger Post-Panamax vessels. The design of the locks is similar to the Berendrecht Lock, but with a width of 55 m.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bascule bridges at the Berendrecht lock in the port of Antwerp, Belgium" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-22.
  2. ^ Antwerp - Portrait of a Port, George van Cauwenbergh, Antwerpse Lloyd - Antwerpen 1983
  3. ^ "Works start on the world's largest lock at Antwerp Port". 23 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
  4. ^ "De Nul dredging company to build locks in Panama Canal". Flanders Today. 2009-07-17. Archived from the original on 2015-09-04.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°20′42.0″N 4°17′4.0″E / 51.345000°N 4.284444°E / 51.345000; 4.284444