In the News:
INTERNATIONAL DREDGING BRIEFS
Captain blamed in dredger deaths
GEORGIAN sea transport officials have blamed the captain for the sinking of a Ukrainian dredger, in which he and two others drowned.
The master of Skadovsk, which sank in high seas near the Black Sea port of Kulevi in October 2008, ignored warnings to return to shore because of severe weather, the officials said.
The vessel had been dredging near the port when it ran aground during a storm on Thursday, tearing a hole in the hull. The owner of the ship, the Ukrainian company Chernomortekhflot, sent two cutters and a mobile unit to tow the vessel back into the sea but it capsized and sank.
Of the 33 crew members, all Ukrainian nationals, 30 were rescued by Georgian coastguards. But the captain, a catering worker, Tatyana Dyachenko, and one other crewman were drowned.
The Georgian Unified Transport Authority said the casualty has not affected the port's operations. The dredging had been carried out to enable larger ships to enter.
Van Oord Wins Contract To Deepen Niger River
Van Oord has been awarded a contract for dredging a navigation channel in the River Niger. Said Van Oord: "The river must be made navigable during the dry and wet seasons from Warri at the Atlantic coast to the train terminal in Baro in Central Nigeria."
"President Yar Adua of Nigeria announced Nigeria’s economy will rank in the top 20 of the world by the year 2020. In order to realise this national ambition the government has launched seven spearhead policies and one special project, a navigation channel in the River Niger."
Van Oord will dredge 226km of the total length of river involved in the project, the total length being 550km. The project is being split into two phases and will start in September 2009. The first phase comprises capital dredging and construction of groynes and installation of hundreds of navigation buoys. More than 500,000 tonnes of rock have to be handled.
The second phase will consist of two years of maintenance dredging after completion of the first phase. Two cutter suction dredgers will be working together on the project. The total contract value amounts to Euros 125 million. Van Oord has been active in Nigeria for many decades and has its own yard with equipment stationed in Nigeria.
Ellicott Sells 100 Dredgers in 2008.
Ellicott Dredges of Baltimore USA has reported selling nearly 100 dredgers in more than 20 countries in 2008.
In a press release emailed to DDH, the company attributed the sales to both Ellicott Dredges and its sister companies, Mud Cat™, IMS dredges, and Liquid Waste Technology (LWT) and claimed that its new plant in Wisconsin near Minneapolis (now in full production), is now the largest and most modern cutter dredge manufacturing facility in the world.
The release noted that in the last quarter of 2008, Ellicott made sales to Egypt (two LWT remote-controlled dredges to maintain power plant intake cooling water access channels at two power plants, Nubaria and El Tebbin); Russia (IMS 7012 and 5012 Versi-Dredges® (with patented Starwheel™ self-propulsion system) for sand mining and environmental lake restoration); Canada (new custom dual-wheel Ellicott B590 dredge for potash mining for Mosaic and an Ellicott Series 1170 "Dragon"™ dredge to a contractor for the tar sands mining company Suncor for use in managing product residue ponds); Mexico (10-inch (254 mm) Model 460SL swinging ladder dredge to a contractor for narrow canal dredging for an oil company); Colombia (an Ellicott Series 1170 "Dragon"™ dredge to Cormagdalena for river navigation and land reclamation purposes); USA (a new standard model 10-inch swinging ladder dredge (Swinging-Dragon™ model 460SL) to a municipality in Long Island in New York State for use in coastal protection, and small harbor maintenance);
The company also promoted some new products in the release including three different models of Swinging-Dragon™ swinging ladder dredges -- an 8" Model 300SL, a 10" Model 460SL, and custom designs -- all newly designed in 2008. The full press release is said to be posted on the company’s website.
Boskalis now holds 20% of Smit
THE DUTCH dredging group Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster has raised its holding in Smit International, the listed Dutch towage company, to 20%, it reported last October to the Dutch financial markets’ regulator AFM.
Boskalis has held a 10.05% stake in Smit since 17 September, when it disclosed a plan to make an offer for Smit, which the target rejected outright. The planned cash offer of €62.50 ($ 90.6) would value Smit at €1.10Bn.
Boskalis told the Bloomberg news agency that it would finance the planned acquisition through cash and debt. "We have indicated that it will not be funded through an issue of new shares,” said spokesman Martijn Schuttevaer. “It will be through available cash on the balance sheet and new debt."
The Boskalis interim report said it held cash reserves of €440.9M at the end of 2008 second quarter.
Fishermen claim Thames dredging operation "will take away their livelihoods"
The Echo News newspaper in the UK says fishermen who have earned a living in the Thames Estuary for generations say they are "facing ruin" after a promise of compensation for a dredging operation failed to materialise.
"The Gilson family are one of several large fishing businesses operating in Southend and the surrounding areas who will be affected by a five-year dredging operation in the estuary. The operation, which is due to start early next year (in 2009), will deepen the estuary to allow large containers to make their way to the new container port up river at the former Shell Haven oil refinery site," said the report.
"Fishermen rely on species such as Dover sole, sprat and smelt which spawn in the deepest part of the estuary and say the dredging plan would damage the fish population. Their boats, are especially designed for fishing in the estuary and are not suitable for fishing elsewhere."
"Smaller fishing operations are set to get compensated for loss of businesses, but London Gateway will only pay for any lost profit on larger businesses if fishermen prove their catches have been affected."
Glyn Gilson, 51, of Sandringham Road, Southend, has been a fisherman for 35 years and sells his catch from his fishmongers in Burdett Road, Southend. He said some of the smaller fishing businesses could be eligible for up to £50,000 compensation, but he would get nothing.
He said: “Basically we have lost our rights to fish. We understand the port will bring jobs, but we want what is due to us. If we had the same compensation as the others we could invest in trying other types of fishing. This way we will lose everything. We will go bust. It is not just a job to us, but a way of life.”
Marcus Pearson, London Gateway’s environmental manager said: “We have been in lengthy negotiations with fishermen who may be affected by the dredging of the Thames estuary. We have put together an unprecedented financial package to meet individual fishermen’s needs in case of any financial loss. This package has been designed so that no fisherman is worse off than they were before the dredging took place."
“We are committed to providing full compensation for any losses incurred by the construction. However, any losses would need to be justified."
IHC Systems inaugurates new simulator
IHC Systems in The Netherlands has inaugurated a new trailing suction hopper dredger simulator.
The simulator will be known as the 'Pieter Caland' simulator, after the civil engineer who designed the plan for the New Waterway in the 19th century. It was inaugurated by Mr Bram Roelse, a member of the board of IHC Merwede also member of the supervisory board of IHC Systems.
Said IHC Systems: "This is the first simulator ever built with an outside view simulating both sailing and dredging with a trailing suction hopper dredger."
IHC Systems has been building simulators for the dredging market since 2002. The first such simulator was built for the Belgian company, Jan De Nul, but it wasn't equipped with visuals.
Philippines President inaugurates dredging project
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has inaugurated a key port dredging project at Hagnaya Port, which will allow roll-on, roll-of (ro-ro) vessels to cross the Hagnaya Channel to the port.
Before the project, passengers had to board a small craft that would carry them to a waiting vessel a few metres away from the main port. The vessel would then ferry them to the Island of Sta. Fe.
The dredging project creates a draft of -5 meters, the depth required by the ro-ro vessel to approach the port even during low tides.
Dredger picks up Second World War shell
AP reports that Royal Navy explosives experts have destroyed a Second World War shell dredged up off the coast of Essex.
The report said the dredger picked up the shell 10 miles of Harwich on Saturday. Bomb disposal experts blew up the shell after it had been taken off the dredger and placed in a safe area.
Dredging a key issue with regard to Brazilian floods
LR-Fairplay's Daily News Service of December 2nd says dredging has become a key focus in Brazil’s recovery from devastating floods.
An Itajai Port Authority (IPA) spokesman told Fairplay: "We are still under a state of emergency and armed services are everywhere, but the river current is almost back to normal and so now dredging becomes a priority.”
Dredging shipping channels was expected to be an important topic for ports minister Pedro Brito, said the report, when he met IPA director.
"The death toll in the state of Santa Catarina has risen to 116, with 31 people still listed as missing and about 80,000 homeless seeking shelter in churches and public buildings," said LR-Fairplay.
A navy tug berthed recently in Itajai loaded with 20 tonnes of medicine, clothes and food.
CEDA celebrates 30 years
This month sees the 30th anniversary of the Central Dredging Association (CEDA), which was launched at the 8th World Dredging Congress in Amsterdam in November 1978. The distinguished group who were at that inaugural meeting sowed the seeds for an international dredging association that has grown into a highly respected and dynamic organization.
CEDA, together with its sister associations WEDA (Western Dredging Association) and EADA (Eastern Dredging Association), is seen as a leading source of information on all aspects of dredging and maritime construction and provides an authoritative forum for all stakeholders of dredging projects. Its membership consists of scientists, academics, engineers and practitioners, from a range of different fields, and represents more than 40 countries.
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