The Municipal Port Authority of Antwerp in Belgium has awarded a €272m contract to a joint venture consisting of five companies to construct a second sea lock in Waaslandhaven on the left bank of the River Scheldt.

The companies in the joint venture include Jan De Nul , CEI-De Meyer and Betonac, which are part of Royal BAM Group , as well as Herbosch-Kiere and Antwerpse Bouwwerken , part of Eiffage .

Currently, Waaslandhaven is only accessible for shipping through the Kallosluis lock, which has reached its maximum capacity; the second lock in Waaslandhaven will accommodate the increase in shipping traffic.

The second sea lock will be 500m long, 68m in width and will be deeper than the Berendrechtsluis sea lock in Belgium, making it the world’s largest once completed.

The project is scheduled to start on 24 October 2011 and is expected to be completed within 53 months.