Damen Shipyards Group has concluded an informative seminar on the subject of Environmental Dredging for key players in the Chinese dredging industry. The two-day seminar presented several new developments from the field of environmental dredging. More than 50 representatives from over 20 Chinese dredging companies attended the seminar, which took place at the beginning of November.
The event visited two of Damen’s Chinese yards: Damen Yichang Shipyard on the first day and Damen Shipyards Changde on the second. “The invited companies included the big state-owned dredging companies as well as smaller, more local dredging companies,” says Damen Regional Sales Director Asia Pacific Michiel Hendrikx.
“First we welcomed our guests to Yichang, in the Hubei province. We held presentations in the morning; these highlighted Damen’s dredging products with a specific focus on the environmental dredging market and other new technologies.” After lunch, the participants were given a tour of the Yichang yard: “Here, we paid special attention to a modern, highly automated Trailer Hopper Suction Dredger 2000 that is currently under construction at Damen Yichang Shipyard. This 2000 m3 capacity vessel is being built as part of Damen’s speculative shipbuilding programme in order to ensure delivery of vessels with short delivery times.”
Drinking water quality
The role of environmental dredging – and its relevance in drinking water supplies – is gaining an increasing amount of attention in China; in both public and political circles. This is because that, even though China is home to almost 20% of the world’s population, the country only holds 7% of the world’s fresh water supply. Furthermore, according to a recent report from NGO International Water Association, at least one third of the water in Chinese rivers and lakes is unfit for human consumption due to high levels of pollution.
“A major reason why the water supply is polluted is that river and lake sediments are so polluted,” continues Mr Hendrikx. “Removing these sources of contamination with dredging is the first step to cleaning up and restoring the water supply. Damen’s dredging portfolio can provide solutions for this.”
CSD on stock
Day two of the itinerary took in Damen Shipyards Changde in the neighbouring province of Hunan. As well as showing the guests a Cutter Suction Dredger 500 that is currently under construction for stock, the yard also gave a demonstration of a DOP 200 Dredge Pump.
While the inherent versatility of Damen’s submersible DOP Pumps means that they can be found in a wide variety of working situations, the possibility that they can be mobilised to dredge reservoirs directly upstream from hydroelectric dams is a relatively new development in the world of dredging.
DOPs at dams
“Many of the hydroelectric dams in China – all over the world, in fact – were built 20 to 30 years ago,” explains Mr Hendrikx. “Many of these show extensive sediment build up near the dam, which leads to the eventual blocking of the hydroelectric turbines. This not only affects drinking water supplies; it also has direct consequences on agricultural irrigation and the electricity generating capacity of the dam.”
The sediments in question – which are often polluted – can be removed using DOP Pumps. “Depending on the material, these can be installed with various cutting heads. And combined with purpose-built dredging vessels, operators can dredge to depths of around 50 metres.”