The Kieldrecht lock of the Port of Antwerp, the largest in the world - 500 meters long, 68 meters wide and 17.8 meters deep – was solemnly inaugurated on 10 June 2016 by King Filip of Belgium, MM. Ben Weyts, Flemish Minister for Transport and Mobility, Werner Hoyer, EIB President and Marc Van Peel, President of the Port of Antwerp.

For the EIB, the new lock constitutes a strategic infrastructure asset for Europe, increasing the navigation capabilities, ensuring maritime and river transport and increasing the international attractiveness of the Port of Antwerp.

At the opening ceremony, Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB declared: “The Kieldrecht lock embodies some of the goals of a Union seeking more growth, competitiveness and jobs. As Europe is slowly stepping out of the economic crisis and so as to make sure that our single market and international trade prosper, we need a connected Union, without barriers, with efficient, viable and sustainable transport infrastructure and networks.”

The new Kieldrecht lock will strengthen the position of the Port of Antwerp as a major hub of the TEN-T and one of Europe’s main continental gateways for international trade. It will be also position the Port of Antwerp as a safe and efficient entry point into European markets and will support the development of inland waterways hinterland transport.

The Port of Antwerp, located on the three Core Network Corridors - i.e. the North Sea Baltic, the North Sea-Mediterranean and the Rhine-Alpine corridors -, is an important node of the EU Trans- European Network (TEN-T). It plays a crucial role in the Transport strategy of the EU and, as such, is also a priority for the European Investment Bank that contributed to the financing with EUR 160.5 million. This giant infrastructure that was built in less than 5 years is now ready to welcome the largest vessels and attract new economic activities.