Van Oord celebrates 150th anniversary

The crane dredger Werkendam is fully powered by LNG, with gasoil as a back-up

Dutch dredging major Van Oord has celebrated its 150th anniversary with the launch of its first LNG powered vessel, the crane dredger 'Werkendam'.

The vessel represents the start of a new generation of dredgers for Van Oord. The company has its roots in the Werkendam and Biesbosch regions, where Govert van Oord laid the foundations of the current company in 1868. Pia van Oord, who named the vessel during two days of festivities at the Biesboschhaven Zuid harbour in Werkendam, is the wife of the founder’s grandson. To mark the 150th anniversary a bronze statue was unveiled on the Sasdijk in Werkendam depicting a local worker.

The dredger Werkendam was built at the Neptune yard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam over a period of 12 months. Measuring 68m LOA and with a beam of some 11m, the crane vessel is fully powered by LNG, with gasoil as a back-up. A storage tank on the aft deck enables the Werkendam to carry enough LNG onboard to operate for 14 days without refuelling. The LNG fuel emits 80% less particulate matter, 70% less nitrous oxide and 25% less CO2 than diesel.

Werkendam will be used mainly for home market projects undertaken by subsidiary company Paans Van Oord. Its first job will be maintenance dredging and revetment works in the Rotterdam Europahaven.

Also in the home market, Van Oord’s trailing suction hopper dredger Geopotes 15 has been deployed to replenish beaches on the island of Texel.

RWS, the Dutch public works agency has contracted Van Oord to maintain the coasts of the Wadden Islands of  Texel, Ameland and Vlieland. Beach replenishment will stabilise the basic coastline.

The projects are part of the Netherlands’ Coastline Care programme, intended to reinforce the Dutch coast with regular deposits of sand. The North Sea coast of the Wadden Islands is suffering serious erosion at several locations. New sand helps stabilise the coast and promotes sand accretion. A further advantage is that leisure visitors and tourists can again enjoy the Wadden Islands’ wide and popular beaches.

Geopotes 15 will be pumping approximately one million cubic metres of sand onto Texel’s beaches. It will finish the job by summer so that the beach is ready for the start of the busy tourist season. The work to come on Ameland and Vlieland involves both beach replenishment and foreshore suppletion. Van Oord will again deploy trailing suction hopper dredgers to deposit some eight million cubic metres of sand. These works will commence this year and are due to be completed by the end of 2020.

By Larz Bourne

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