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Dredging ducks the downturn
the British government or the Port of
London Authority. The PLA has inde-
pendent trust status and can dredge within
its area of jurisdiction (400 square miles)
The international dredging sector is
Despite the global shipping recession, the
under S60 of the Port of London Act
dominated by two Belgian and two Dutch 1968. However, it refrains from capital
groups, Dredging International, Jan De
dredging industry has remained in
dredging projects (even though they
Nul, and Royal Boskalis Westminster and would increase revenue through tonnage
Van Oord respectively. Headquartered
remarkably good shape and, through
taxes and pilotage) and undertakes only
within a 100km “circle” in Northern
consolidation and massive investment in
maintenance dredging. Its policy is not
Europe, their strength is such that no com- without precedent in the UK, although
petitors are likely to challenge their posi-
new vessels, has got even stronger
in most of these cases, the port authority
tion in the medium term, given the high also owns and operates the ports.
cost thresholds and expertise required to Associated British Ports (ABP), for
enter the market. by DP World as part of the overall £1.5B gramme will not be fully met by DP example, spun off its internal dredging
Boskalis, by virtue of its listing on the cost of the project. This includes £50M World. The company has obtained an EU division some 10 years ago and formed
Amsterdam stock exchange, acts as a ba- for environmental mitigation, including grant of €14.174M under the TEN-T
rometer for the quartet. It is the largest of removal and relocation of all animals and framework. In addition, a “soft loan” of
The London Gateway dredging and reclamation
the four, although Belgian contractor Jan reptiles,
including adder
-744-STS C
om the site
nes 178

7 U
yed by market conditions, but
De Nul claims to be the most profitable. The £400M cost of the dredging pro- Of note, no funding is coming from DP World has now given the go-ahead
However, as it is a family owned and run
group, it claim is hard to check.
Results from the first half of 2009, the
latest figures to be released, show that
Boskalis had an order book valued at al-
most €3B, more than double the figure
five years ago. The company anticipates
that its 2009 profits will exceed €215M,
generated by a turnover of €2.2B, and is
confident that this performance can be
Increase life with
maintained during 2010.
The level of contracts placed and
planned gives contractors confidence and
justifies their fleet expansion and mod-
ernisation plans. Jan De Nul, for instance,
has a 2007-2011 investment programme
of €1.8B, while Dutch operator Van Oord
has committed €1B to newbuilding
projects over the same period.
London digs deep
The largest single dredging project to be
undertaken in the UK is shortly to com-
mence with the deepening of the access
channel to DP World’s new London Gate-
way container terminal, previously the site
of a Shell refinery. Shell was able to ac-
cept fully loaded tankers up to 120,000
dwt with a depth alongside the main T-
head jetty of 14.5m. However, the ap-
proach is tide-dependant and tankers
steamed in cautiously on a flood tide of-
ten with as little as 0.5m keel clearance.
This is not practical for container ships.
They require 24h access and departure
and, unlike oil tankers, do not arrive fully
loaded and depart empty.
The northern access channel will be
dredged to a depth of -14.5m below chart
datum and to a width of 300m, requiring
the removal of 2-3m depth of spoil to
increase the present draught limitations.
This will necessitate dredging of 29M
m3 of spoil, which will then be employed
to reclaim the new terminal area and raise
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The £400M dredging and site recla-
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mation contract was awarded to the
LORDI consortium - a joint venture of
Dredging International (DI), part of the
Belgian DEME group, and UK construc-
tion group Laing O’Rourke.
Long haul
The 14.5m deep access channel will re-
quire full dredging for 17 n/m into the
Thames Estuary, after which the existing
channel will be dredged over seven sites
to provide a continuous 30 n/m channel
to the Sunk Lightship, just south of
... with lattice girder ... with double trolleys ... with rope driven trolley ... with double girder
Felixstowe. In all, nearly 50 n/m will have
to be dredged as well as a turning circle
off the terminal, plus a 17m deep berthing
pocket along the 2500m long quay.
The dredging programme was sup- Visit us: TOC Asia 2010 – Booth E26
posed to start at the end of 2008, but was
delayed due to falling market conditions.
It is now going ahead and will take a mini-
plastics for longer life
mum of three years, although actual
scheduling will depend upon market de- ®
mand. However, DP World does not con-
sider the terminal will “have its first crane
before the London Olympics in 2012.”
The reclamation of the terminal site
GmbH Spicher Str. 1a D-51147 Cologne phone +49-2203-9649-0 fax +49-2203-9649-222
will take place in two continuous phases,
with the first phase to be undertaken in
the eastern, downriver, sector, during
Please phone our offices:
which time the existing oil jetty on the
Austria +43-7675-4005-0 France +33-1-49840404 Mexico +52-722-2714273 South Korea +82-32-8212911
site will remain operational while a new
Belgium +32-16-314431 Great-Britain +44-1604-677240 Netherlands +31-346-353932 Spain +34-93-6473950
Brazil +55-11-35314487 India +91-80-25727106 Poland +48-22-8635770 Sweden +46-42-329270
T-head jetty is built at the eastern bound-
Canada +1-905-7608448 Italy +39-039-5906-1 Portugal +351-22-610 90 00 Switzerland +41-62-3889797
ary. Once this is in place, the existing jetty
China +86-21-51303100 Japan +81-358-192030 Singapore +65-64871411 Taiwan +886-4-23581000
will be demolished and reclamation will Denmark +45-86-603373 Malaysia +603-7880 5475 South Africa +27-31- 569 66 33 USA +1-800-5212747
start on the second half of the terminal.
The terms "igus, ReadyChain, E-Chain, E-Chain Systems, Chainflex, plastics for longer life" are legally protected trademarks in the Federal Republic of Germany and in case also in foreign countries.
The cost of the construction and re-
moval of the Shell facilities will be met
February 2010 41
41_pos45_WCN_Feb.indd 1 02/03/2010 19:29:06
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