Young CEDA Belgian dredgers visit

The tours were followed by a seminar which highlighted the basic engineering skills of dredging and put the vessels into context

The Young CEDA Belgian Section recently invited 50 students and young professionals to visit two Jan De Nul dredgers.

The trailing suction hopper dredger Taccola and the cutter suction dredger Fernao de Magalhaes were berthed along a quaywall in the Port of Ghent where they were being prepared for their next assignments.

To make it easier to access all areas of the vessels the group was divided into three and a Young CEDA representative led each group on a tour inside each dredger.

The TSHD Taccola is a 4,400m3 capacity hopper powered by twin 2.8MW diesel engines which drive all onboard dredging equipment, while the pumps and propulsion are electrically driven.

Captain Simon van den Abeele welcomed the group onto the bridge at the start of a one hour tour during which Young CEDA representatives together with crew members explained the basics of dredging and how each components was important to the flow of soil throughout the dredging process.

The impressive CSD Fernao de Magalhaes boasts a total installed power of 24MW. Visitors were surprised by the high-tech nature of the dredge desk and impressed by the crew’s enthusiasm to show off their vessel. One glance inside the pump room was enough to overwhelm the engineers-to-be as the sheer size of the two pump houses was beyond their expectations. During its time on the Suez Canal project the vessel had proven capable of pumping 200,000m3 of dredged material to shore each day.

The tours were followed by a seminar which highlighted the basic engineering skills of dredging and put the vessels into context. Famous engineers such as Bernouilli and Euler were referenced to link the basic engineering science taught in universities with their practical application to dredging.

The group finished the day in the cutter suction dredger’s onboard bar where they enjoyed drinks and a chat with Captain Joost De Ridder and some of his staff. Many questions were asked about dredging, working abroad and engineering skills requirements. The dredging professionals were reassured to see such enthusiasm within the group to learn more about joining the dredging community.

Meanwhile, CEDA’s contract working group, set up as part of the Dredging Management Commission’s (DMC) brief to address matters of contract selection and procurement routes, convened for its third full day meeting in Delft, the Netherlands.

Group chair Charles Wilsoncroft of HKA said: “We had another very productive and positive meeting. With lively debate and strong opinions from some of the leaders in the industry, we continue to plot a course through the complex matter of how projects are procured and contracts selected and awarded.”

The working group, comprising employers, contractors, lawyers and consultants, divided into specific sub-groups, continues its work outside the meetings to develop the the overview, content and processes to be incorporated into the final document to be produced. The output is being drafted to align with and be complimentary to the DMC’s Dredging Management Checklist, which is currently available free to members from the CEDA website. The working group next meets in Delft in July.

Mr Wilsoncroft added: “It is our sincere hope that the document we produce will add real value to the industry and that it will provide, alongside the Dredging Management Checklist, part of a project delivery ‘tool kit’ to be utilised by those delivering projects.”

By Larz Bourne

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