2017 Exhibitor List

Hotel / Visa

Hall N1: N1J61 - Royal IHC

The future of dredging: sustainable vessels and equipment


The future of dredging: sustainable vessels and equipment

The number of emission-controlled areas (ECAs) around the world is rising and rules regarding shipping are becoming more rigorous. The IMO (International Maritime Organisation) is proposing new, stricter regulations for sulphur and nitrogen emissions. In the future, it is highly likely that the maritime industry can expect an increase in legislation regarding the reduction of CO2, particulate matter and black carbon.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is rapidly becoming one of the fuels of choice for new vessels. LNG-fuelled ships eliminate sulphur oxide emissions, and offer a significant reduction in the release of nitrogen emissions. Dual-fuel engines, which operate through both diesel and LNG, are also increasing in popularity because they provide dredging companies greater flexibility, as they are able to operate in areas where LNG is not yet available.

Integrating LNG in a hopper dredger is a challenge. It requires three times the volume for storage compared to diesel, for example, and this has a significant effect on a vessel’s design.

Challenges of integrating the LNG fuel system
“We have had to overcome the challenge of LNG storage and integration of the LNG fuel system for the new vessels ordered by DEME,” says Erik van der Blom, IHC R&D Manager. “An important design choice is where to situate the LNG storage tank. In one vessel, we positioned the tank in the aft ship just above the engines, and on another, we placed this in the fore ship underneath the accommodation. Besides positioning the LNG tank, safety zones around the LNG fuel system also have to be taken into account – it’s a complex process.”

Alongside MINERVA, SCHELDT RIVER featured an IHC-patented two-speed propulsion drive. This ensures that fuel savings can be made when sailing at lower speeds. Both vessels also feature a newly developed wing-shaped bow thruster tunnel, which improves the vessels’ manoeuvrability.

“It sounds obvious, but it was essential to incorporate multiple functionalities during the design process,” continues Erik. “It wasn’t simply a case of selecting the best location for the LNG fuel tank. We also had to consider the operational requirements of the vessel, and the locations where crew members would be working during operations. Essentially, we’re trying to achieve a balance between safety restrictions and operational requirements.”

World’s first LNG-powered CSD
This attention to detail is also present in IHC’s design of SPARTACUS. This vessel for DEME will not only be the world’s largest cutter suction dredger (CSD), but also the first CSD to be powered by LNG. In addition, the environmentally-friendly SPARTACUS features other innovations, such as a waste heat recovery system that converts heat from the exhaust gases to electrical energy.  

The 15,000m3 TSHD BONNY RIVER also highlights DEME's commitment to sustainability. The vessel’s hydrodynamic hull and dual-fuel engines ensure optimal fuel consumption, while the closed process water circuit minimises the turbidity generated by overflow water. This enables BONNY RIVER to dredge in environmentally sensitive areas.

 Hall N1: N1J61 - Royal IHC