Taiwan has been struggling for years to provide its inhabitants and industry with a stable power supply. To have sufficient coal to be able to operate the power plants at their full capacity, it is of vital importance that larger amounts of coal can be supplied from overseas. To enable more coal unloading, the port of Linkou must be deepened. Jan De Nul immediately re-uses the dredged material from Linkou to create additional land in the nearby Port of Taipei.
Test in record time
Initially, the completion of this project was scheduled for the autumn of 2018. But the need for more coal was so high that in October 2017 the client, Taiwan Power Company, instructed Jan De Nul to shorten the execution period by half a year. “We had to search for a solution within a very short period of time because normally we would have had a winter break from November. That didn’t give us much time to think. But we do like this kind of challenges”, explains project manager Harold Heeffer.
“During October 2017, we had already dredged a layer of 2 million cubic metre of sand and we were just about to start with the difficult layer of 4 million cubic metres of boulders and mudstone.
"We like facing challenges!"
Together with the direct client, Hung Hua Construction, and the production department at the office, Jan De Nul conceived a few possible solutions. “We got the idea to test whether a large hopper dredger could suck up the material that had been pre-cut by the cutter dredger and pump it ashore in Taipei Port. Such a vessel is much larger than a split barge and can cope with much more severe weather conditions.” Jan De Nul used the J.F.J. De Nul, the largest cutter dredger from its fleet, but one, to carry out the test together with its trailing suction hopper dredger Charles Darwin.
Harold: “We had only a few months to solve this challenge that needed both vessels to be synchronised with one another to enable joint production optimisation.”
Getting ahead – a six month schedule improvement
A detailed report on the completed test was drawn up so that from November another cutter dredger and suction hopper dredger could take over the project. Project manager Harold Heeffer: “The J.F.J. De Nul had to sail on to a project in Mumbai. It was released in mid-November by the cutter suction dredger Niccolò Machiavelli, assisted by the Vasco da Gama and later also the Vitus Bering.”
“All dredged material from Linkou Port was used in Taipei Port to create a new harbour site”, Harold explains. “As a result, Hung Hua Construction also had to review its planning for constructing the bunds, the contour lines of the site to be reclaimed, and to have them ready in time, before the arrival of the Vasco da Gama. Our client Hung Hua Construction coordinated the works together with two fishing clubs. The planning had been changed and so the dredging works had to be executed during the peak period of the fishing season. Thanks to Hung Hua, everything went smoothly for all parties concerned.”
“We started working in Linkou in August 2017 and the port will be ready in the spring of 2018. That is more than half a year earlier than scheduled. We can be proud of having achieved this for our client."
Ma Hong Po is Senior Business Development Manager in Asia for Jan De Nul Group. Over the last 22 years he has been travelling across China, Taiwan and Vietnam to identify new projects, talk to contractors and meet potential new clients. “Asians,…
Operational Superintendent Karel Foré led the test for the cutter dredger J.F.J. De Nul. “We started on the spot with the hardest subsoil. If the test was successful, we knew that the rest would be feasible as well. Initially, we decided…
In Linkou, different types of soil are being dredged: mudstone, boulders, fine sand... This makes it difficult to establish the perfect volume balance and production levels. The survey team monitors the dredged volumes very accurately, in real time and…