The German federal government is investing €630 million (US$745 million) in the expansion and maintenance of the Dortmund-Ems Canal (DEK). The DEK is a 269 km canal between the inland port of the city of Dortmund and the seaport of Emden.
Even if times change, one thing remains constant: the importance of the DEK for the economy, transport and, above all, the people of the region. Formerly an assembly line for coal transports, today a guarantee for climate protection. To ensure that it lives up to this importance in the future, we are currently investing 630 million euros in the expansion and maintenance of the canal.—Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer
Preliminary technical planning of the new lock system (source: WNA Datteln (publisher) and Creaviva GmbH & Co. KG (concept & design))
We will continue to work for the fastest possible new construction of all five locks on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. If you want to relieve roads, you have to upgrade rails and waterways. Our goal is the continuous navigability for large motor freight ships in the north German waterway network and the easy accessibility of the seaports in the Dutch - Lower Saxony Ems-Dollart area. Sufficient bridge height for double-decker container ships is becoming increasingly important. We are increasing the capacities in inland shipping not only through longer and wider locks, but also through taller ships.—Lower Saxony Transport Minister Dr. Bernd Althusmann
Future-oriented lock sizes with as many standardized components as possible, such as lock gates, are the right step into the future of the DEK . The advantages are obvious: The planning effort is reduced and the maintenance of the lock system is made much easier. This also enables us to accelerate the implementation of complex large-scale hydraulic engineering projects and thus set new standards.—Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Heinrich Witte , President of the General Directorate for Waterways and Shipping
In the future, the DEK should be able to be navigated continuously with modern large motor freight ships of up to 135 meters in length. The replacement of the locks in future-proof dimensions creates the prerequisites for this. The Gleesen lock is already under construction, and two more, Bevergern and Hesselte, are about to be replaced. The project should be finished in 2033. Without the five new lock replacements, the DEK northern route would no longer be reliably navigable for freight shipping in the future, the government said.