Ijmuiden is a major seaport located at the entrance to North Sea Canal (Nordzee Kanaal), approx 30 km (18 ml) west of Amsterdam city center.
The port has sea locks and harbors. Along the canal's banks there are large beaches, dunes with bunkers, a national park, fort island. The town's population is around 30,000.
Among the best-known tourist attractions are IJmuiden Sea and Harbour Museum. Holland's most modern marina is located at the main boulevard. From there, tourists only have to cross the dunes to find the beach. South Pier extends 3 km (2 ml) into North Sea and is accessible on foot. Inland, among the woods are 18th-century mansions (like Beeckesteijn museum) with authentic French and English gardens. The cemetery of Driehuis is beautifully preserved and well maintained. Velsen's old center has the 8th-century Engelmundus church.
North Sea Canal connects North Sea with IJ Bay in Amsterdam. This is an important shipping canal along which are located the Hoogovensmuseum, the sluice gates system (at the canal's mouth), the Sea and Harbour Museum.
Besides Velsen Town Hall, important sights are the North Sea locks (among the world's largest). They are able to close off a shipping lane with width 164 ft (50 m) and depth / draft 39 ft (12 m). There are plans to enlarge or create a new set to facilitate passage for larger vessels.
Port IJmuiden new sealock (world's largest)
A new (world's largest) sealock is currently under construction at IJmuiden (North Sea Canal's entrance). The new facility will provide access to Port Amsterdam even to the world's largest cruise vessels.
The new sealock has length of 500 m (1640 ft), width 70 m (230 ft) and depth / max draft 18 m (59 ft), ranking it the world’s largest. Construction works started in January 2016, with scheduled completion by the end of 2019. After the sealock's inauguration, Amsterdam port will be accessible (for all types of marine vessels) 24 hours a day.
The new sealock system improves Port Amsterdam's accessibility and significantly stimulates the local economy by allowing shipping traffic with larger vessels and independently of tidal levels. The old lock system at Port IJmuiden comprised of 4 sealocks protecting North Sea Canal's water levels. North Lock is the largest (length 400 m, width 50 m, depth 15 m) and allows passing of vessels with max draft 14 m (46 ft). The remaining 3 sealocks are smaller.
The new sealock is between North Lock and other sealocks. The project (total cost EUR 890 million) was funded through bank loans, European Investment Bank (EIB) and also equity financing. In June 2015, EIB funded the project with EUR 165 million (33% of its debt financing). Other banks that invested in the sealock were DZ Bank AG, KfW IPEX-Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG; Bank and Unicredit Bank. They collectively loaned EUR 500 million, to be repaid during the facility's 26-year (through the year 2045) operating phase. The sealock building was also co-funded by the EU's TEN-T program.
Holland's "Highways and Waterways Agency" awarded the EUR 500 million contract for the new sealock's designing, construction and maintenance to Consortium OpenIJ, which consists of BAM-PGGM (joint venture), VolkerWessels (construction company), DIF. BAM Infra BV, VolkerWessels (construction company). OpenIJ will be responsible for the sealock's maintenance until 2045.
IJmuiden Heliport is a small helipad in IJmuiden Harbour used exclusively for maritime assistance (piloting services). Next YouTube video shows the sealock project's main highlights.
In July 2018 was announced, that project's planned completion will be delayed by 27 months (re-scheduled for January 2022). The existing Noordersluis Lock will continue to serve the traffic, but larger ships will not be able to dock at Port IJmuiden.
On January 20, 2019, arrived the first of all 3 lock gates, being tugged across North Sea to Maasvlakte and then to IJmuiden. These gates were constructed (assembled) in South Korea and shipped to Port IJmuiden (total distance over 26,000 km), arriving here on December 6, 2018. Each of them has length 72 m, height 24 m, width 11 m and weight 3000 tons. The gates have air chambers (allowing them to float) and water-filled ballast tanks (for stability).
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