IJmuiden Sea Lock

IJmuiden, The Netherlands
Supporting the Dutch government to deliver the world’s largest sea lock
15th October 2015 Financial Close
5 years Construction Period
26 years Concession Period
2047 Handback

The background

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.  

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. 

The OpenIJ consortium – currently comprising Invesis and VolkerWessels – were awarded the PPP contract to design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) the project on behalf of Rijkswaterstaat in 2015. The new IJmuiden Sea Lock has been operational since August 2021 and will be maintained by the consortium’s development partners for a period of 26 years.  

Since becoming operational, the new lock can play a significant role in boosting the local economy, addressing the growing demand for cargo and improving the transport route to ports and businesses situated along the North Sea Canal.  



Capital Value



Invesis and VolkerInfra PPP



Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC)

BAM Infra and Van Hattum en Blankevoort

Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

BAM Infra and VolkerWessels Infra EPC

Business value

By partnering with the OpenIJ consortium, Rijkswaterstaat received a high-quality asset with an iconic, sustainable design which meets the requirements of the PPP contract. On Wednesday, 26 January 2022, the King of the Netherlands Willem Alexander officially inaugurated operation of the IJmuiden Sea lock. 

The new lock is of great economic importance as Amsterdam is the fourth-largest port in Europe in terms of volume. The improved accessibility contributes to the Port of Amsterdam’s position as sustainable and circular energy and raw materials hub. 

Investment in key maritime will significantly improve ships accessibility to the main waterway network, which will help boost the Dutch economy and improve the efficient importation and exportation of goods and cargo. 


Key features

By using the PPP contract approach and partnering with the OpenIJ consortium, the project; 

  • will increase the sea access capacity to the Port of Amsterdam to approximately 125 million tons per year   
  • has an iconic and sustainable design based on the clients ambition to deliver a project that operates in a climate neutral and circular manner  
  • won the European PPP Deal of the Year category at the IJ Global Awards in 2016