Temporary channel eases passage through North Sea Port during construction of new Terneuzen lock

Published on Mon 6 May 2019
The temporary channel was officially opened on the morning of Monday 6 May, at which time the name was unveiled. The ‘Captain Rooibos channel’ is intended to conduct shipping traffic to and from the main channel between Ghent and Terneuzen.

It will also make it possible to continue using the Middensluis lock for a while longer while the new lock in Terneuzen (the Nieuwe Sluis) is being built. This is important to the operation of North Sea Port as a maritime gateway. The contractors’ consortium Sassevart came up with this temporary passageway as a means to lessen the shipping sector's inconvenience as a result of the construction. Their idea will make it possible to continue using the Middensluis lock until mid-2021 rather than mid-2019.

Maximum length

Ships in North Sea Port have been able to make use of the temporary channel since Saturday 4 May. The barge Lurona was the very first vessel to transit the Captain Rooibos channel. The channel can accommodate vessels up to (at maximum) a length of 105 meters, a breadth of 9.5 meters and a draught of 3 meters. Ships with a draught deeper than 3 meters will need to use the Oostsluis lock. The depth of this lock has been (provisionally) increased from 4.30 to 4.80 meters.


The channel takes its name from a band from Zeelandic Flanders, the Lamakettas, who had a hit song about a maritime hero of Zeelandic Flanders who terrorised the high seas around the globe in the 17th century: Captain Rooibos. Following a social-media call for suggestions for a fun name for the temporary channel, this Captain ultimately emerged as the winner.