Dredging in Winter

Ignace Stols, project manager dredging works, continues: “In November, December and January, the sea in the Gulf of Guinea is less rough. The access channel is situated outside the protected area so we had to be able to make use of this calmer period for dredging it."

"At the end of 2014, the cutter dredger Niccolò Machiavelli arrived at the site. It deepened the access channel to -14 metre depth and dredged the turning ships circle along with the dock. At the same time, we also dredged a trench of 18 metres deep for the quay wall foundations. The  800,000 cubic metres sand dredged was pumped ashore through a pipe placed on the seabed because the port activities were not to be interrupted. These dredged materials were used to build a rectangular plot of land of one kilometre long and 25 metre wide alongside which we created the first 200-metre quay wall."

"Starting in January 2016, again in the most favourable weather period, we dredged and removed another 3.5 million cubic metres. This time, the cutter suction dredger Ibn Battuta dredged up to a depth of -16 metre. This is needed to be able to receive the latest generation of bulk carriers and container ships. With the dredged materials, we reclaimed a site of almost 50 acres. We also started building the second 400-metre section of the quay wall; this will be ready in the fall of 2017."

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