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Belgians Scoop Up dreding Contracts

Straddling theNhorder between Belgium and the Netherlands, the massive delta formed where theSJlivers Maas, Waal and Scheldt meandeiNnto the North Sea constitutes the seawarayend of a busy inland waterway network whicir^ncludes the River Rhine. To maintain the smooth running of high volumes of commercial traffic^ both nations have, over many years, built up Simertise in the design and operation of dredgers?* Dredging International (DI), from its base irN Antwerp, Belgium, is one company which has secured a number of major capital and maintenance dredging contracts around the world, thus confirming the preeminence of the socalled Low Countries in this particular field.

The company has become a dominant force in the Far East with extensive activity in Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia, and has ongoing projects in North Africa, South America and the Caribbean. A significant boost for DI's Asia-Pacific Group came in mid-1996 with the award of a new contract at Port Klang, Malaysia, which involved deepening the five-mile long and 1,300-ft. (400- m) wide access channel. The task at this busy container port located 25 miles west of Kuala Lumpur involved the removal of six million cu. m. of material to a dump zone positioned approximately 10 miles offshore. The latest generation of containerships will now be able to i call at the Port.

Pearl River, reportedly the world's largj^t This unconventional Dutch RoRo design is f r om Schelde Shipbuilding trailing suction hopper dredger with a capacity of 17,000 cu. m., was deployed for the project, while continuing to alternate between other jobs including the reclamation of 500 acres for a residential area and marina off Port Klang, and a reclamation project at Ancol Barat in the Bay of Jakarta. Pearl River is currently committed to a four-year maintenance dredging contact at the large LNG and general carg^port at Bintulu, Sarawak.

Last July, Far East Dredging, a^DPWai Kee ings joint venture, hegscydredging the accefVchannel to the Taiwaj^se Port of Tan Shui. Dtedgers Cap Martin And. River Bee were employed ?ior this three jnillion-cu.-m. dredge and fill operation, whiyn posed a number of challenges, including^mpredictable weather and sea conditioSe/ind the requirement to dovetail dredging opa^tions with the construction of sea and qray wai^s.

At the sam^time, cutoter suction dredger Rubens was deepening a sixNcile long seaward access chamel at the Vietnamese Port of Hon Chong to jprovide a local eementxprks with a more efficient transport option.

In O^ober, DI will take over the sec9^d part of aXwo-year contract at the Port of Cochin, Indffa, from joint venture partner Van OOT cifique, a 430-ft. (131-m) trailing suction hoper dredger, will prevent the silting up of one of India's West Coast harbors and its access channel by removing 19 million cu. m. of mud.

DI will also soon begin clearing Martin Garcia Channel in the Rio de la Plata, Uruguay. Valued at $180 million over a 10- year period, the project involves removal of 35 million cu. m. of material and will open up a number of Uruguayan and Argentinian ports. Cutter suction dredger Amazone will undertake the lion's share of the work in the more difficult northern part of the channel where the sea bottom comprises firm N ; 1P* ' 1 »r. clay alia rock. sewhere in the world, DI teams are current- Involved in reclamation work on Guadaloupe, Maintenance dredging at five Tunisian ports and flood protection work in Brisbane, Australia. In Belgium, the company is involved in connecting Antwerp's second container terminal to the national and pan-European rail network with a land consolidation scheme. The rail link will eventually pass over a 20 to 26-ft. (6 to 8-m) layer of material dredged from Antwerp Harbour. Other local projects include erosion protection work on the River Scheldt and the construction of a new ferry terminal at the Port of Ostend.

New hybrid tug design Holyhead Towing has recently taken delivery of a multi-purpose tug designed by the company's managing director, Capt. Mark Meade.

Dubbed Afon Goch, the vessel's design is an attempt to combine the performance and seahandling of a conventional twin-screw tug with the large open deck space of the Multicat style workboat.

In 1995, the company built a vessel at its own yard which broadly copied the Multicat concept made popular by Dutch builder Damen.

lolyhead's version, Llandwyn Island, has a ft. x 25.6-ft. (21.5 m x 7.8-m) hull, is comple£^ v rectangular in plan and features a raisedN^eckhouse offset tight against the port g u n w a l e \ T h e vessel has an enormous deck area, although its square bow is less than ideal for offshore coalitions.

The design ioS^s were taken to Hepworth Shipyard in Hull aWl a build contract was negotiated. Capt. MeadKrefers to Afon Goch as a Multitug, and the vessel resembles a conventional 78-ft. (23.8-m), tNtin-screw tug with a beam of 24.6 ft. (7.5 m). AVnall octagonal tugstyle pilothouse is located neSyr the vessel's centerline and there is a clearly defined bow. Twin exhaust stacks are angled to maximize visibility. Closer inspection reveals harcNvood covered working decks with both anchor handling and towing winches located amidships in a tunnel formed beneath the pilothouse.DITA diesels each developing725 hp at 1,800 rpm, tyr'mng propellers in stainless sreel-lined Koi nozzles via TwiVDisc MG 5202"' gearboxes, augmented by a Kort KT120 bowtifruster. A free running speear in excess of 11 knots and a bollard pull of 20 tons were reported on trials.

The vessel is well equipped with Wagner steering, Kobelt controls, Robertson AP 45 autopilot, two Furuno radars, Sailor VHF and a CCTV system allowing the ti taster to observe operation^rfffme two winches other^iiofT hidden b e l o A Also noteworthy, Afon Goch is the first U.K. newbuild to be fitted with cut-tireJsrttfTfendering facture^rn the U.S. by Sc Ruh anumyle The vessel's conventional propulsion system




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