The channel will 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 considered significant to the operation of North Sea Port as a maritime gateway.
The contractors' consortium Sassevart came up with this temporary passageway as a way to limit the shipping sector's inconvenience due to of the construction. Their idea will make it possible to continue using the Middensluis lock until mid-2021 instead of mid-2019.
Ships in North Sea Port have been able to use the temporary channel since 4 May. The barge Lurona was the first vessel to transit the Captain Rooibos channel. The channel can accommodate vessels up to 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 increased from 4.30 to 4.80 meters.