IJmuiden Sea Lock

After almost 100 years in operation, the northern lock in Ijmuiden, Netherlands located at the mouth of the North Sea Canal, connecting Amsterdam with the sea, was approaching the end of its technical lifespan. A study conducted in 2007/2008 concluded that the lock needed to be replaced with a new larger lock to facilitate the growing number of sea vessels.  

Rijkswaterstaat delivered the new lock which will significantly boost the local economy, address growing demand for goods, and improve the transport route to ports and businesses situated along the North Sea Chanal. The lock is the largest sea lock in the world, approximately 70m wide, 500m long and 18m deep. 

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The challenge

In recent years sea vessels have grown both in size and quantity carrying more cargo, goods, and materials to facilitate the surrounding population’s increasing demand. Therefore, the lock system was no longer sufficient to allow large vessels, independent of tidal waves, to pass through and access the Port of Amsterdam safely and smoothly. 

Invesis as part of the OpenJ consortium – comprising VolkerWessels and DIF – were awarded the contract to design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) the project in October 2015.  

Construction commenced in 2016 and the consortium reached availability date in August 2021. After a period of practicing and testing operations by Rijkswaterstaat, the IJmuiden Sea Lock became available for sea-going vessels.  

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Maarten van der Bent
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Enabling the Dutch government to deliver the world’s largest Sea Lock.


The solution

On Wednesday, 26 January 2022, the King of the Netherlands Willem Alexander officially inaugurated operation of the IJmuiden Sea lock. During the ceremony, his majesty opened the inner door of the world’s largest sea lock from the Lock Operations Centre (SOC). 

Invesis provided 50% of equity and will be responsible for operations and maintenance of the project for a 26-year period. Construction activities were carried out by a BAM Infra and VolkerWessels joint venture. 

With the lock now fully operational, access to the Port of Amsterdam will be greatly improved. Invesis’ are proud to play a central role in solving Rijkswaterstaat’s investment challenges, enabling them to boost the local economy and transform lives and businesses through efficient marine infrastructure.  


contract duration



Invesis (50%), Volker Wessels and DIF (50%)