1 billion euro investment planned for a new lock at Zeebrugge Docks

The Flemish Government has announced that the Visartsluis lock at the port of Zeebruuge (West Flanders) will be replaced by a brand new larger lock at the same location at a cost of 1 billion euro. 750 objections were lodged against the construction of the lock that will involve the compulsory purchase of 35 properties.  

Currently the most important point of access to the Port of Zeebrugge is the Pierre Vandamme Lock that was built in 1984. It has now become dated and is too small to accommodate the most modern car transporter ships.  

The decision was taken to build a new lock at the site of the much older and smaller Visartsluis. The new lock will be 55 metres wide, 427 metres long and 18.5 metres deep. This should be large enough to allow the most modern ships access to the inner harbour.

In response to the 750 objections lodged against the plan, the Flemish government has promised measures to address some of the concerns.  

The Flemish Transport Minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) to VRT Radio 2 West Flanders that “We will pay special attention to the residents and companies that will be subject to compulsory purchase, but we will also look out for others living in the area.   

The Provincial Governor has been given the task of following up the work on the lock and will act if issue arise surrounding noise nuisance or emissions.