York Gas Reservoir – United Kingdom
To develop the York Gas Reservoir 34 kilometres offshore, a new platform and pipeline had to be installed.
A 7-kilometre marine trench from the cofferdam towards the platform was dredged by two backhoe dredgers which side-casted the stiff clay with cobbles and boulders.
Two newly built 6,000 m3 trailing suction hopper dredgers pre-swept the underwater gravel/clay dunes.
After the pipeline installation, a backhoe dredger backfilled the trench with material that had been side-casted during the original seabed levelling.
Eneco Luchterduinen – the Netherlands
2013 – 2015
In 2013, the contractor started with the engineering and procurement for the Eneco Luchterduinen Wind Farm in the Netherlands.
The wind farm is situated 23 kilometres off the Dutch coast between the cities of Noordwijk and Zandvoort and occupies a 25-km2 area at a water depth ranging between 18 and 24 metres.
It consists of 43 Vestas V112 wind turbines. With a capacity of 129 Megawatts, it will supply green energy to 150,000 households.
Sand Motor – The Netherlands
2011 – 2012
The Sand Motor, an artificial peninsula, is an innovative alternative to protect the coast naturally.
To start ‘the engine’, 21.5 million m3 of sand were placed along a 20-kilometre stretch of coast. Now the wind, waves and currents are gradually doing their work.
Over a twenty-year period the sand is expected to transform itself into new dunes and wider beaches, making the need for the five-year replenishment moot whilst protecting the vulnerable hinterland.
Pasir Panjang – Singapore
1993 – 2005
In 1993, the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), started work on Phases 1 and 2 of a new mega container terminal at Pasir Panjang.
To create a reclamation area of 130 hectares for Phase 1, 20 million m3 of sand were reclaimed.
Dredging included 4,5 million m3 of clay, 500,000 m3 sand, 500,000 m3 silt stone and 200,000 m3 rock that required underwater blasting.
The reclamation was an immense expansion of the port’s capacity. The terminal officially opened in March 2000. Phase 2 became fully operational in June 2005.
Pulau Semakau – Singapore
1995 – 1998
Waste disposal is a challenge which most populous urban areas must confront.
The Pulau Semakau Offshore Landfill, located 10 kilometres south of Singapore, links two islands, Semakau and Sakeng, via a 7-kilometre bund enclosing 350 hectares.
By creating embankments with stone revetments and a sea sand-pitched jetty, several compartments were made for different types of waste.
Another part of the project was to restore the natural ecology by replanting mangroves over a large area and these are flourishing.
Central Reclamation – Hong Kong
1993 – 1997
More than 26 hectares of land in the Central district were reclaimed to improve transportation at the ferry piers.
This included demolition of existing piers, dredging, rock filling, reclamation, disposal of unsuitable material and the construction of some 1,200 metres of external seawalls.
Reclamation has long been used to increase the land mass for this densely populated city.
Jurong & Tuas – Singapore
1984 – ongoing
By the 1980s, after a decade of rapid industrialisation, property on Singapore’s mainland was scarce.
A solution was found in the Jurong Island reclamation and Tuas extension projects.
Together Jurong and Tuas form the new industrial zone of Singapore, with 987 hectares for the construction of a petrochemical complex.
Sakhalin Island - Russia
2003 – 2013
Thanks to its enormous oil and natural gas reserves Sakhalin Island, located in Russia’s Far East, rapidly developed over the past two decades.
All major oil and gas companies investing in the area rely on the expertise of the dredging industry to execute on- and offshore developments in the remote environment and harsh climate for which Sakhalin Island is so well known.
With developments continuing for years to come, the dredging industry will face the island’s challenges head-on.
Saemangeum – South Korea
1996 – 2010
The 33.9-kilometre-long Saemangeum Sea Dike – the longest dike in the world – links the cities of Gunsan in the north and Buan in the south.
Before construction of the dike, two rivers, the Mangyeon and Dongjin, discharged directly into the Yellow Sea. Now these rivers flow into a 400-km2 reservoir created by the dike.
In the future this reservoir will be transformed into land equal to two thirds the area of Seoul to be used for agricultural, industrial, business, residential, wetlands and ecotourism.
Qarin Al Aysh – Abu Dhabi (UAE)
1998 – 2002
To protect unique Arabian wildlife and species, 10 million m3 of sand, sandstone and rock were dredged to form a 29-kilometre-looped inland channel.
This created an island off the sea front along the Arabian Gulf with two deep-water fish breeding farms.
The dredged material was used to reclaim surrounding low-lying sabkha (salt flats) along the channel for future developments.
Other local contractors excavated the canal’s embankments and constructed 2.2 million m2 of tidal zone land for mangrove plantations.
Eastern Mangrove Area – Abu Dhabi
2011 – 2014
Mangroves are salt-tolerant trees that grow in the shallow tidal waters of Abu Dhabi’s coastal areas.
Rapid coastal developments have put certain mangrove areas under stress.
To revive these vital ecosystems, over 1 million m3 of material was dredged and reclaimed, clearing channels and creating additional irrigation.
The Eastern Mangrove area is now flourishing and expanding.
The Palm Islands – Dubai (UAE)
2002 – 2008
To transform Dubai into a world-class tourist venue, a genial plan was developed: Build artificial islands shaped like palm trees for businesses, hotels, villas and leisure facilities.
Dredging contractors also had to be innovative. Working in shallow waters, smaller hopper dredgers and other light vessels first brought sand to the surface.
Thereafter millions of cubic metres of sand were rainbowed and rock and limestone were placed by cranes.
The artificial islands add many kilometres to Dubai’s coastline and were the most ambitious reclamation projects of all time in terms of size, concept and engineering.
Kansai Airport – Japan
1986 – 1994
Built 5 kilometres off the coast in Osaka Bay, on a 400-hectare artificial island, the Kansai International Airport construction started in 1986 and opened in 1994.
It was the first airport project to address a complex, large-scale reclamation work.
Three mountains were excavated for 21 million m3 of landfill.
Port of Duqm – Oman
2007 – 2012
Located on the Arabian Sea, with the Indian Ocean beyond, the Port of Duqm complex was built to provide adequate capacity to cope with future expansions and with the handling of large cargo vessels.
The work included the construction of the port’s breakwaters and quay walls and the dredging and deepening of an access channel and harbour basin.
An extensive dry dock complex was also built. The completely new port has reinforced Oman’s strategic position for global trade.
Malampaya – The Philippines
2014 – 2015
The Malampaya Gas Field off the coast of Palawan Island is the major source of natural gas for the Philippines providing about 30% of the country’s electricity requirements.
The project to install a Depletion Compression Platform (DCP) is part of the plan to optimise the gas field, leading to an eight-year lifetime extension.
The contract is to dredge, install rock, position the platform, connect ballast hoses and inject iron ore into the footings at a depth of 50 metres using only one multi-purpose vessel.
Thornton Bank Wind Farm – Belgium
2007 – 2009 / 2010 – 2013
Belgium has committed itself to generate 13 percent of its electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2020.
The C-Power Thornton offshore wind farm set the standard for achieving this and was a world-first in many respects.
The distance to coast, sea depth, capacity of the six 15 Megawatt turbines, bank funding, environmental procedures, severe weather and offshore conditions, the planning in ever-changing political, legal and financial circumstances and the development of specialised equipment.
Maasvlakte 2 – The Netherlands
2008 – 2013
Maasvlakte 2 is one of the most complex projects in the history of Dutch hydraulic engineering.
Started in 2008, the project covered 2,000 hectares of which half is new industrial ground.
Twenty-three hopper dredgers carried 210 million m³ of sand from the offshore borrow area 12 km away to the reclamation site.
Four cutter suction dredgers deepened the entrance and new port basins, pumping 30 million m³ of sand into these new areas.
The new land is raised to 5 m above NAP and the port has a depth of -20 m, making it one of the few ports in Europe accessible to the next generation of deep-draught container ships.
Panama Canal – Panama
2005 – 2015
The hundred-year-old Panama Canal is being reinvented.
Whilst improvements have always been ongoing, recent works encompass the construction of two major lock complexes at the Atlantic and Pacific entrances and deepening of the Pacific entrance and southern approach channel.
For the new lock complexes alone some 40 million m³ of soil and rock have been excavated and 5 million m³ of concrete poured.
The notoriously hard subsoil was drilled and blasted. In total 25 million m³ of Atlantic muck and Gatun rock were dredged.
Laem Chabang & Ma Ta Phut – Thailand
1988 – 1989
To remain competitive in the global economy, the Thai government saw the urgency of investing in deep-water seaports as Bangkok’s port was too shallow.
A study indicated that a port at Laem Chabang, 2 hours south of Bangkok, would be deep enough to accommodate large container ships and bulk carriers.
In 1988 construction began. A year later dredging operations moved further southwards to Map Ta Phut for a second deep-sea harbour.
Today Laem Chabang is Thailand’s largest port for shipping as well as a large cruise ship harbour and Map Ta Phut and its port are important industrial assets.
Chek Lap Kok – Hong Kong
1991 – 1992
Hong Kong’s airport-in-the-water is legendary for the skill and speed with which it was built.
In May 1991, a global consortium of dredging companies united a small, hilly island, Chek Lap Kok, with a smaller nearby island, Lam Chau.
Using 237 million m³ of reclaimed sand the islands were transformed into a mammoth 1,250 hectare platform.
At the time it was the largest reclamation project ever executed with 14 trailing suction hopper dredgers, 4 cutter suction dredgers, 7 grab dredgers and some 20 hopper barges.
Suez Canal – Egypt
1975 – 1980
The first modern initiatives to improve the Suez Canal, which is a sea-level waterway, occurred in the 1950s.
These improvements were followed by the largest widening and deepening works from 1975 to 1980 when a huge dredging fleet of 12 cutter suction dredgers dug out 225,000,000 m3.
Delta Works – The Netherlands
1958 – 1997
In 1953 the Netherlands was struck by a disastrous flood of its southernmost provinces, resulting in enormous loss of human and animal life and property.
In response the government launched a major flood control programme to analyse the costs and risks of protecting the low-lying country.
In 1958 the construction of the Delta Works was begun. Ultimately the construction of dams, sluices, locks, dikes and storm surge barriers lasted almost 40 years till 1997.
Adcop Fujeirah - Abu Dhabi
2008 – 2010
Starting at Habshan, the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (ADCOP) runs through the emirate Ras Al Khaimah over a distance of 380 km to the port of Fujairah, making it the longest pipeline in the United Arab Emirates.
It can transport 1.5 million barrels of crude per day. The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract involved the offshore installation of 3 pipelines with a total length of approximately 13 km and 3 single point mooring systems.
Rio Paraná and Rio de la Plata Waterway Concession - Argentina
1995 – 2021
A 26-year-long deepening and maintenance dredging contract over a distance of 1,200 km on the Río Paraná and 240 km on the Río de la Plata has improved the navigability of these rivers.
This has increased transport and trade for the regions bordering the rivers. The work also modernised and maintains navigational aids from the Pacific Ocean through the Canal Emilio Mitre up to Santa Fe. In 2010 this was extended to include the waterway from Sante Fe to Confluencia.
Port of Durban – South Africa
2007 – 2010
Located on South Africa’s east coast, bordering the Indian Ocean, Durban is the busiest port in sub-Saharan Africa. By 2007 the port needed an upgrade and enlargement.
The works involved widening the port’s entrance from 150 to 240 metres and deepening both the shipping channel from 12.8 to 19 metres as well as the port itself.
More than 10 million m3 of sediment were dredged. Two trailing suction hopper dredgers were deployed and a newly built powerful backhoe dredger which worked below the waterline along the breakwaters.
LLX Açu Super Port - Brazil
2011 – 2014
The Açu Superport Industrial Complex, located in the north of Rio de Janeiro State, covers 90 km² with 17 km of quay – making it the largest, most impressive port-industry enterprise in Latin America.
The work includes dredging access and inner channels, turning and harbour basins, land reclamation work and revetments at the entrance of the harbour. The total dredged volume exceeds 43 million cubic metres.
Manzanillo LNG terminal – Mexico
2008 – 2011
The LNG re-gasification terminal in Manzanillo, Colima, was a major project that encompasses an 860,000 m2 site.
It accommodates two storage tanks with re-gasification and distribution facilities with a capacity of 3.8 million tonnes per year.
Esbjerg Eastern Port Extension – Denmark
2011 – 2013
A seaport town on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula, Esbjerg witnessed the first phase of a major extension to the port in 2011 – 2013.
The project included the construction of a 1,300 m new quay, capital dredging to widening the existing navigational channel, capital dredging for a new turning basin as well as a new port basin.
Haneda International Airport – Japan
1995 – 2015
Tokyo's Haneda International Airport has seen many expansions over several decades. Most recently, to increase its international flight capacity and enhance tourism, a new fourth runway was constructed adjacent to the existing runways.
Extensive soil improvement and placement of cement treated piles as well as sand compaction, sand drains and concrete block revetments were necessary to stablise the reclamation platform for the runway.
Corniche Public Beach – Abu Dhabi
2009 – 2010
The Corniche Beach is a premier recreation area, enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
First constructed by NMDC in 2006, the contractor was asked again in 2009 to extend the beach by some 2,700 metres.
The popular beach had to be kept open during construction and the fragile ecosystem was continuously monitored.
Penny’s Bay – Hong Kong
2000 – 2002
The Penny’s Bay land reclamation was designated as the site for the creation of Hong Kong Disneyland.
It included the reclamation and ground treatment of about 200 hectares of land protected by 2 km of seawalls, temporary access roads and drainage.
Sfax / Taparura – Tunisia
2006 - 2009
The aim of the Taparura project was to rehabilitate the heavily polluted and neglected coastal area of the city and harbour of Sfax, Tunisia’s second most populous city.
By remediating Sfax’s coastline using environmental dredging, selective excavation, sediment treatment and construction of a confined storage for landfill, the city was sustainably re-developed.
Port of Antwerp - Belgium
1965 – 1975 / 1999 – 2006
Originally on the right bank of the River Scheldt, increasing container traffic after World War II led the Port of Antwerp to expand to the left bank where a sea lock and multiple docks were built and are still being built at Waaslandhaven.
This was followed by the construction of a new dock complex, the Deurganckdock.
Melbourne Channel – Australia
2003 – 2009
In a risk-sharing alliance contract between the contractor and client,
the deepening of the port’s navigation channel took place in a highly sensitive environment containing two marine national parks and a Ramsar (*) site.
Innovative dredging equipment, extensive monitoring, transparent communication with the community and early contractor involvement led to a successful project.
(*) The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
Photo: Copyright of Lucas Dawson
Jebel Ali Port - Dubai
1976 - 1982
One of the oldest, most prominent projects in the early days of the UAE was the construction of Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. It was, by far, the biggest dredging project in the world in the mid-1970s and is still the biggest human-made port in the world.
Jubail Industrial Harbour Project – Saudi Arabia
1976 - 1980
This project was one of the largest construction projects in Saudi Arabia at the time. It encompassed a multitude of operations including dredging 422,100m3, building a breakwater and seawall quarry, with a quay wall 2,880m in length and with 954,000m3 of earth filling.
Maasvlakte 1 – the Netherlands
1965 - 1973
The first Maasvlakte extension at the Port of Rotterdam was built by a combination of dikes and sand suppletion reaching west into the North Sea. This expansion made it possible to receive larger ships and build numerous container terminals.
London Gateway Port – United Kingdom
2000 - 2013
London Gateway aims to make London a hub for both international and UK shippers with its connecting inland infrastructure and huge capacity for container ships. The navigation channel was widened and deepened and a port platform was built.
Gorgon LNG port facilities – Australia
2009 - 2013
Barrow Island (60km off Australia’s western coast) is the land base for the Gorgon natural gas fields. This remote and unique location presented huge logistical and environmental challenges for getting people, equipment and the rocks needed for coastal protection to the right place.
Maritime Extension of the Zeebrugge Harbour - Belgium
1977 – 1992
Maritime extension works at the Port of Zeebrugge began in 1977 and continued for some 15 years. New breakwaters, improved slope protection, a sea lock and an LNG terminal at the port’s eastern side were added.
Boubyan Sea Port – Kuwait
2010 – 2014
The development of Boubyan Sea Port took place on the eastern side of Boubyan Island, the largest of Kuwait’s islands. The Boubyan Island Development Project aims to enhance Kuwait's standing as a major hub for commerce in the region.
Port of Colombo – Sri Lanka
1983 – 1985
Already in the 1980s the strategic importance of the Port, located on the Indian Ocean, was recognised. To facilitate a major transformation to handle containerised cargo, new container berths and quay walls were constructed.
The port remains a busy commercial hub and a crucial worldwide trade link to and from South Asia.
SARB Artificial Islands – Abu Dhabi
To develop the Satah Al Razboot oil field in Abu Dhabi, two offshore artificial energy islands were constructed. This demanded multi-disciplinary activities such as engineering, dredging, reclamation, soil improvement,…
The Danish West coast – Denmark
1982 - 2014
Pounded by the North Sea’s waves, the dunes and property on Denmark’s west coast are continually threatened by erosion. Every year since 1982, sand nourishment and slope protection with materials dredged from the North Sea are used to defend the 110km coastline.
Programme of airport construction – Maldives
2010 - 2014
To increase social and economic benefits for local communities and increase tourism, the Maldives government launched a programme of airport construction. Including Thaa Thimarafushi, Male International and Gan International airports.
The Maeslantkering - the Netherlands
1990 - 1996
The Maeslantkering storm-surge barrier, part of a system to protect the coast of South Holland, is able to withstand waves of 5 metres above NAP.
Port Facilities and Buildings, Cai Mep International container terminal - Vietnam
2008 - 2013
Cai Mep International Port Terminal is the biggest port project in Vietnam and is part of a key plan of the Government to relocate the port away from the urban area of Ho Chi Minh City.
Zakum artificial islands – Abu Dhabi
2009 - 2014
To increase petroleum production, four artificial industrial islands at Upper Zakum – the second largest offshore oilfield in the world – were commissioned.
Punta Pacifica - Panama
2011 - 2013
As Panama City’s shoreline has become more congested, an artificial island adjoining the city is providing relief.
Manifa Field Causeway and Island Project - Saudi Arabia
2007 - 2011
The Manifa Oil Field is one of the most important crude oil fields in the Middle East. When fully operational, it delivers 900,000 barrels per day.