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International Dredging Briefs

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Dredging and marine contractor Van Oord has completed the prestigious land reclamation project The World in the Emirate of Dubai. The World is a group of 300 artificial islands 4km off the coast of Dubai that have been shaped in the form of the continents. The project covers a surface area of 9 x 7km and was completed in the record time of little more than four years.

The islands can now provide the setting for hotels, apartments and villas.  Project execution commenced in October 2003. Fifteen trailing suction hopper dredgers have reclaimed a total of 320 million cubic metres of sand from the sea to form the islands.

For comparison purposes: that is the equivalent of a two-metre-wide, four-metre-high Chinese Wall that stretches around the world. In addition, 34 million tonnes of stone have been used to construct the longest breakwater in the world, a 27-kilometre-long structure protecting the islands from the sea. That is four times the amount of stone used to build the Oosterscheldt storm surge barrier. Van Oord will continue to be closely involved in the remainder of this project for a number of years.

According to Dredging News Online, Van Oord is working on several marine construction projects in Dubai. Following the first palm island, the much-discussed Palm Jumeirah, The World was the next extraordinary land reclamation project that Van Oord completed in Dubai. Palm Deira, a colossal islands project ten times the size of Palm Jumeirah, is still under construction and will be completed in 2014-2015.

Chinese company wins Ras Al-Zour contract

MENA FN.COM reports that China’s Harbor Contracting and Engineering Company has won a US$586.7 million contract to build port facilities at Saudi Arabia’s Ras Al-Zour, according to officials at the company. The facilities will be finished in 2010, the officials said.

The deal is the second big contract win in the Kingdom for the company in recent months. The Chinese group fought off competition from Belgium’s Dredging International with the local Huta Group, and a joint venture of the Dutch Royal Boskalis Westminster with Geneva-registered Archirodon Construction. China Harbor has partnered with the local Rafid Group on the project to form China Harbor Engineering Arabia Company.

Ellicott Dredges Lands $100m Orders, to deliver 80 Dredges in 08; Changes Name.

A lot seems to be happening at Ellicott Dredges these days, what with it’s stated new sales record for 2007.

According to a press release by the company recently, its order book for 2007 translates to $100m for various categories of dredgers including robotic crawler dredges, trash skimmers, swinging dragon and jet dragon dredges and dual wheel dragon dredges. The customers also varied from Baltimore City (USA) to the Government of Iraq.

Also in 2008, Ellicott plans to introduce innovations to its most popular products, the Series 370 and 670 models, including electronic applications and software and fuel efficiency.

The press release which announced new personnel for certain of its staff positions also informed on the commissioning of a phase of its new Wisconsin plant in December, 2007. The Phase 2, it said, should be completed in July, 2008, with 6 bays each measuring 250 ft x 50 ft (76 m x 15 m), for a total of 75,000 ft2 (6,968 m2) of manufacturing space with suitable crane capacity for building dredges up to Series 4170 “Super-Dragon”, weighing approximately 450 tons total. The company says that with these new developments, it plans to deliver dredges to customers now faster than before.

Another information on this press release is the company’s change of name from Baltimore Dredge Enterprises, LLC to Ellicott Dredge Enterprises, LLC.  Details of this would be found on its website.

No Limit Ships hydrographic vessel to assist Jan de Nul

At the end of December 2007, No Limit Ships shipyard delivered a No Limit 1640 survey vessel to Belgian dredging contractor Jan De Nul. The craft is currently being transported to Dubai, where it will take soundings for the company. She is 16.40m long, with a breadth of 5.26m and a depth of 1.28m, named DN 75.

Japanese companies “to build artificial islands for Sochi Olympics”

RIA Novosti reports that Japanese companies will reportedly will be involved in the construction of artificial islands in the Black Sea off the coast of Sochi, the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the head of the Russian-Japanese business council said late last week.

“We know only too well the problems the United Arab Emirates encountered when building artificial islands, so Japan’s participation and their technology is particularly interesting to Russia,” which lacks the expertise to construct artificial islands in areas with high seismic activity, Aslan Atabiyev told a news conference in Tokyo.

Mr Atabiyev said that, under the current project, more than 10 islands for housing Olympic facilities will be built near Sochi.

Jan de Nul dredger damaged by fire

Press reports in The Netherlands say Jan de Nul’s mega trailing suction hopper dredger Vasco da Gama dredger has been damaged by fire, and it could be four months before the vessel is back in action.

“There is electrical damage in the engine control room”, a spokesman for the Belgian company told Thomson Financial News. The report did not say when or where, or how the fire occurred, nor provided many details about the extent of the damage.

Workmen dredge Medieval bones from river

Buryfreepress reports that human bones and medieval artefacts have been discovered by workers dredging the River Lark at West Row. An adult male skull and the shoulder of a juvenile were revealed as silt was being removed from the river by Environment Agency workers.

Ryan Eley, team leader in charge of the dredging operation, said: “We were undertaking some flood risk management when we found these bones. We thought they were cattle bones because they came up individually – that was until we found the skull. Obviously, our first thought was that we’d come across a crime scene so our first port of call was the police. When they gave us the all clear, we contacted the archaeological team at Suffolk County Council. They came out to the site and went through the silt in case there was anything else of interest.”

He added: “When you dredge rivers you find all kinds of things, but this is the first time I’ve come across human remains in my time working for the Environment Agency.” Although the grisly discovery – made in mid-December – turned out not to be connected with a recent crime, examinations showed the man had come to a gruesome end – a hole in the skull indicated it had been pierced with an iron arrow or a spear.

The circumstances of the adult’s death are unknown although there was a battle at nearby Fornham in 1173, but the association is speculation, said the report.

Conexpo 2008 In Las Vegas Flaunts New Equipment for the Market.

The 2008 edition of the triennial construction equipment expo popularly called Conexpo-Con/Agg held in March, bringing much new equipment to the international marketplace. Over 2,400 companies from 32 countries worldwide brought their products and services on display at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in Nevada, USA. Over 140,000 attendees were present for the five-day event dominated by the big names in construction and allied aggregates machines industry. DDH was there and brought news and pictures, some of which are published in the new plant and equipment supplement (enclosed), a sister publication to DDH.

Dredgers suspect as MidEast cut off

Internet services on the Arabian peninsula suffered severe disruption after the submarine telephone/data cable SEAMEWE 4 (South East Asia-Middle-East-Western Europe 4) was severed. Local media reports indicated that the cable operator was seeking to repair the cut, thought to be 12km off the Egyptian coast. An industry analyst told Fairplay that the cable was laid in the late 1990s and runs from Tokyo to Colombo via Singapore, then to Aden, Suez, North Africa and into the Atlantic. The cable is extremely high density – it carries 10 pairs of fibre-optic cables with each able to handle 100,000 simultaneous phone calls. Suspicion initially focused on dredging companies, which are particularly susceptible to this kind of accident. However, sources from the major international and smaller local dredging companies told Fairplay that none of their vessels were working off the Egyptian coast nor were they aware of any major projects off that coast.