05 May 2015 Dry Bulk | Ports & Terminals On 5 February, the Netherlands and Belgium’s Flemish Region reached the next phase in the construction of the new lock in Terneuzen. Flemish Minister of Public Works, Ben Weyts, and Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, signed the treaty for the project in Terneuzen. At the event, the joint Dutch and Belgian project organization unveiled the engineering plan for the lock. The new, larger lock at the Port of Terneuzen — roughly the size of the new locks on the Panama Canal — will improve accessibility to the Port of Ghent on the 32km Terneuzen to Ghent channel, promoting increased inland shipping between the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Additionally, the smooth passage of maritime traffic will prove an economic impulse to the region. The first ship is expected to enter the new lock in 2021. The Flemish–Dutch Scheldt Commission (VNSC) is responsible for the project team preparing for the construction. Engineering consultancy LievenseCSO was awarded the contract for the initial reference design of the new lock and related research such as environmental impact. The Municipality of Terneuzen is also closely involved in the project.