More Power to the Dredgermen

Belgian dredge contractor Jan De Nul is putting down new markers for an industry that has invested in major advances in vessel scale, power and performance in recent years in line with intensifying competitive pressures and the evolving nature of project demands.

The company's recent recommissioning of the mega trailing suction hopper dredger Vasco da Gama, equipped for tasks at greater-than-ever depths, will soon be followed by the delivery of what is claimed to be the world's most powerful, self-propelled cutter suction dredger, the J.F.J. De Nul. Retrofitted at Keppel Shipyard in Singapore with an IHC Holland-supplied, new deep dredging installation, the three year-old, 33,000 cu. m.-capacity Vasco da Gama is now able to undertake projects at an unprecedented suction depth of 446 ft.

(136 m). This remarkable capability is being put to immediate use by the Canadian offshore sector, whereby the vessel has been dispatched from Singapore to the rigorous waters of the northwest Atlantic, to dredge wells of about 295 ft. (9 m) at a water depth of 410 ft. (125 m). The wells will provide a protected location for subsea production systems, below the seabed level, and out of harm's way from the icebergs that scour the sea floor. Just as the post- Panamax 'trailer' Vasco da Gama had ushered -in the era of the mega dredger in June 2000, by virtue of a hopper volume 40-percent greater than that of the largest vessel at that time, the company's newbuild J.F.J.De Nul will establish a new level of potency among self-propelled cutter dredgers. The 27,190-kW power concentration in the J.F.J.De Nul, suited to rock dredging as well as sand and clay removal, includes 6,000-kW of cutter drive power, said to be around 30- percent more than that of the most powerful 'cutters' currently in operation, and a maximum dredge pump power of 15,800-kW. Due for handover by IHC Holland's Kinderdijk yard during the fourth quarter of 2003, the new vessel has been designed to dredge at depths ranging from 21 to 115 ft. (6.5 to 35 m), to which end the cutter ladder incorporates two sets of trunnions. The ladder's weight of 1,450-t reflects the sheer scale of the unit and the immense mass necessary for steady rock dredging in all conditions.

Flexibility in the discharge arrangements is such that she has been equipped with a special barge loading installation, besides the usual facilities for pumping spoil ashore via floating pipeline.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 60,  Oct 2003 A-60

Read More Power to the Dredgermen in Pdf, Flash or Html5 edition of October 2003 Maritime Reporter

Other stories from October 2003 issue

Content

Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.