New build and renovation Princess Beatrix lock complex

The Princess Beatrix lock complex has been the largest monumental inland waterway lock in the Netherlands since its opening in 1938. It functions as the most important shipping connection between Rotterdam and Amsterdam with 50,000 ships that pass through the Lek Canal annually. The past few years, due to the steadily increasing traffic and larger ships, the lock threatened to become a bottleneck. The consortium Sas van Vreeswijk was appointed by Rijkswaterstaat for i.a. the construction of a third new lock, renovation of the 2 existing locks, the relocation of the operation center and the widening of the Lek Canal.

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DBFM contract

For Rijkswaterstaat, the Princess Beatrix lock project is the second ‘wet’ DBFM project (Design – Build – Finance – Maintain) in the Netherlands, after the Limmel flood lock, another project Agidens was involved in.

The Sas van Vreeswijk consortium (Besix, Jan De Nul and Heijmans) became responsible for the design, realization, financing and maintenance of the Beatrix lock. As a subcontractor, Agidens carried out the entire system integration for the operation, control and monitoring and is also responsible for the 27-year maintenance period (together with Martens & Van Oord).

Extensive scope

From the start of the project, the focus was on maximum availability of the locks. Starting from the basic concept of a lock with 4 roller doors, a complete redundancy was built into the design eliminating any ‘single point of failure’ in the system.

Characteristic of the project was the total freedom that was offered for the technical implementation of the design, in combination with a process (EN15288) for securing the functional requirements within this very extensive scope.

Build third lock with double roller doors.

Renovation of the mechanical engineering, drive and electrical installation of the National Monument (existing locks 1 and 2) while retaining the monumental character.

Relocating the control room to the previous lockkeeper houses (white houses).

Widening the Lek Canal.

27 years of maintenance with focus on maximum availability.

Scope Agidens Infra Automation

Process design / engineering

Software engineering

Mechanical engineering

E&I engineering

Safety engineering



Testing & Commissioning

Compliance (EN15288)

Maintenance (27 years)

Lock 3

With the construction of the third chamber, more and larger ships can now pass through the Lek Canal. In addition, by widening the canal, there is additional space for berths.

The third chamber was fitted with 4 roller doors, a concept that forms the basis of the redundant architecture of the entire system. In the event of malfunction or maintenance, 2 doors always remain operational. If only the outer doors are used, the chamber is 291m long (useful chamber length) and space is created for securing two ships of 135m each. This is called ‘locking XL’.


Maximum availability of lock 3

PLC redundancy (Siemens S7-400 FH) is realized with integrated safety. As a result, only 4 hours of unplanned unavailability was realized in the first year after commissioning, compared to a requirement of 22 hours per year.

Extensive maintenance concept

that allows almost all maintenance to be carried out without the lock being unavailable.

Fully digital operation and surveillance

in the white houses based on a camera installation and ten thousand I / O throughout the lock complex.

No more waiting times

thanks to the increased capacity of the locks, the high availability and the widening of the Lek Canal.

Successful site testing

followed by reporting and demonstration (V&V file) of the entire complex 3 weeks after the test was carried out.