Construction has been delayed of the sea lock near Ijmuiden in the Netherlands, pushing the completion schedule back by 27 months.

The information has been provided by the Netherlands Infrastructure and Water Management Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen to the Dutch House of Representatives.

The delay is caused by some problems with the lock’s door sockets.

According to contractor consortium BAM and VolkerWessels, new door sashes can be built with adjustments using the caisson method, but this will require more time.

However, the delay is not expected to affect shipping traffic to and from the ports at the North Sea Canal. The existing Noordersluis lock will remain open for longer before it is eventually replaced by the new IJmuiden lock.

Construction of the new lock began in 2016 with an aim to improve accessibility to the Port of Amsterdam and enable the facility to handle larger seagoing vessels.

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“Since the Noordersluis lock will now remain operational longer, the accessibility of ports in the North Sea Canal Area will not be compromised.”

Responding to the latest setback, Port of Amsterdam said in a statement: “We regret this outcome of events.

“Since the Noordersluis lock will now remain operational longer, the accessibility of ports in the North Sea Canal Area will, in any event, not be compromised.

“The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat/RWS) has assured us that the ports of IJmuiden, Beverwijk, Zaanstad and Amsterdam will remain easily accessible in the next few years. It is therefore vital that the Noordersluis lock remains in optimum condition.”

Once complete, the sea lock will be 500m-long, 70m-wide, and 18m-deep.

The lock is being developed as part of a joint venture (JV) between the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, province of Noord-Holland, municipality of Amsterdam, Port of Amsterdam, and the municipality of Velsen.