People who spend any time around the world’s ports and river estuaries are familiar with the sight of a cutter suction dredge working to maintain adequate depths in the navigation channels. Typically these suction dredges will be attached to the shore by a long umbilical of piping that takes the dredgate to a shore site where it can be utilized or trucked to another site. IHC Merwede offers a supplement to this system for use with their suction dredgers.
Their booster station contains a powerful Cummins-powered pump that can propel the dredged material much farther than can be achieved with the use of only the main dredge pump. This dramatically increases the amount of pipe and the range over which the suction dredge can function. Because the dredged material is transferred by pipeline there are significant savings in time and cost over a conventional dredge and barges.
Depending on the site, the booster pump can be located on land or on water to offer the optimum advantage to the dredging operation. In one instance, for a Chinese dredger the addition of a booster station increased the allowable length of the discharge pipe from 7,000 meters to 11,500 meters.
Because of the power demands and reliability required by these booster stations, IHC Merwede has chosen a Cummins QSK60-M diesel generating 1641 kW (2,200 hp) of pumping power.