The first dredging campaign of this year will start in the Eemshaven, a seaport in the province of Groningen in the north of the Netherlands, harnessing the powered of Liquefied Natural Gas. This is the first time that the LNG-powered dredger, the Ecodelta, has carried out this maintenance. The work will start in parts of Eemshaven where most of the sedimentation took place, mainly the Doekegatkanaal and Beatrixhaven.
Eventually the entire port will be at the desired depth again. The work is expected to be completed after approximately one and a half weeks, with the next dredging campaign taking place in October.
The Ecodelta is a hypermodern LNG-powered dredger owned by Dredging and Contracting Company Van der Kamp BV of Zwolle. The environmentally friendly nature of the ship makes it particularly suitable for dredging activities, where it is extra desirable to work as cleanly as possible, such as the vulnerable mudflats area near Eemshaven.
The Ecodelta, a so-called trailing suction hopper dredger, transports the suctioned sludge to licensed locations just outside Eemshaven where the material may be spread. The ship is 134 m long and has a capacity of 6000 m3.
By choosing LNG as a fuel, the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be reduced by 20 percent and that of nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 85 percent. Sulphur and particulate matter emissions are reduced to virtually zero. LNG is therefore the cleanest fuel currently available to shipping on a large scale.
Groningen Seaports say that with the deployment of the Ecodelta, it is realising one of the agreements in the cooperation agreement for improving the natural environment and improving the accessibility of the Eems estuary. Both programmes started in 2014 and form the basis for the cooperation on the widening of the Eemshaven North Sea channel and the later Eems-Dollard 2050 programme.
Related article: Unique Project Delivers LNG-fuelled ‘Ecodelta’ Dredger