Lock site in Belgium opens shipping from Namur to the Port of Antwerp and Northern Europe

10 Feb 2022

The new Ampsin-Neuville lock can move the equivalent of 225 20-ton trucks in a single basin. Our experts were responsible for designing the lock gates, operating mechanisms and electrical, and for the control-command of the entire lock site.

On January 18, 2022, the first shipment of goods passed through the Ampsin-Neuville lock on the Meuse River in Belgium. The site unblocks the last bottleneck between the city of Namur, in the Belgian Walloon region, and the Port of Antwerp, a gateway to Northern Europe and beyond. The new route for the transport of goods by waterway is not only beneficial to the economy, but will help reduce road congestion in Northern Europe.
Multidisciplinary Tractebel teams combine expertise
For this project, Tractebel’s expertise in locks (over ten years) was recognized by the Walloon Public Service (SPW) and associated with that of Bureau Greisch. Our experts were responsible for the design of the lock gates, the operating mechanisms, the electricity and the control-command of the entire lock site, as well as for the follow-up of these electromechanical works. To this end, several Tractebel departments combined their expertise to execute the project.

Works began in 2018 to replace the former lock of 55 x 7.5 m with one measuring 225 x 12.5 m, a capacity of 225 20-ton trucks per basin. The testing phase, to verify the proper functioning of the system through one hundred consecutive trouble-free test cycles, ran from November 2021 through January 2022.

Second, larger lock in the works
In a second phase, the 136 x 16 m lock will be replaced by a 225 x 25 m lock, which will allow the passage of 450 20-tonne trucks. The completion of this second lock is planned for the end of 2023.

Watch SOFICO's video of this impressive site!


“The refurbishment of the lock site is certainly intended to improve shipping routes and the passage of goods, but also to create a better environment for cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife. The pedestrian bridge linking the Walloon municipalities of Amay and Huy will be replaced and extended to cross the national highway and the left bank will be landscaped to give it a more natural character. A new fish ladder will allow the various species to cross the dam.”

Patrick Mahy, Project Manager

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