The port of Zeebrugge is one of the youngest and most modern seaports along the European coastline. Two locks connect the tidal outer harbour with the non-tidal inner harbour. The Pierre Vandamme lock is the largest lock at 500 metres long, 57 metres wide and 18.5 metres deep. Double lock gates have been installed on both sides and the lock is operational 24/7. In order for the port of Zeebrugge to maintain its leading position, maintenance and renovation of the lock are essential.
The chosen approach is alternately drying out the gate chambers in order to be able to carry out a complete renovation of the rolling gates, gate chambers and (electrical) mechanical equipment. As an expert in locks, SBE initially provided the design for the drying of the gate chambers and a study of the complex drainage process.
SBE also supplied the design up to and including the tender phase for the renovation of the lock gates and gate chambers. In the first phase, gates and gate chambers 2 and 3 were renovated, followed by gates 1 and 4. When renovating the latter, additional butterfly valves will also be fitted so that the filling and emptying of the lock can be carried out more quickly. An impressive lifting operation is then underway as the gates are taken from the gate chamber and placed on the bank. SBE assisted the government in an advisory role during the works.
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