The Netherlands: World’s Largest Backhoe Dredger Launched

World’s Largest Backhoe Dredger Launched

IHC Merwede has successfully launched the largest backhoe dredger in the world on 31 August 2012. The name of the vessel will be revealed at the end of the year during a special ceremony.

The launch took place at the shipyard of its cooperation partner, NMC, in Nieuw-Lekkerland, The Netherlands. IHC Merwede is building the vessel for Autoridad del Canal de Panama (ACP).

The contract for the design, construction and delivery of the backhoe dredger was signed between ACP and IHC Global Production on 9 April 2011. The keel was laid on 13 December 2011 and the vessel will be transported to Panama in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The vessel has been designed and built using the latest technological developments. The width of the pontoon is greatly enlarged in connection with the stability of the dredger. The backhoe dredger will be equipped with a diesel-hydraulic modified Komatsu PC5500 excavator. Due to this the dredger has a maximum dredging depth of 19.5m with a 13.5m3 bucket. The vessel has been designed to be equipped with an even larger excavator in the future: the modified Komatsu PC8000.

The backhoe dredger will initially be used for the expansion of the Panama Canal and subsequently for its maintenance. It’s not the first vessel that IHC Merwede has built for ACP. With the successful delivery of the cutter suction dredger QUIBIAN 1, IHC Merwede has already proved itself to be a professional and reliable partner.

Main features

Type – Backhoe dredger

Customer – Autoridad del Canal de Panama (ACP)

Builder – IHC Global Production BV

Length – 60.2m

Breadth – 23m

Depth – 5.1m

Maximum dredging depth – 19.5m

Total installed power – 3,000kW

Daytime accommodation – 10 people.

Company profile IHC Merwede

IHC Merwede is focussed on the continuous development of design and construction activities for the specialist maritime sector. It is the global market leader for efficient dredging and mining vessels and equipment – with vast experience accumulated over decades – and a reliable supplier of custom-built ships and supplies for offshore construction.

IHC Merwede has in-house expertise for engineering and manufacturing innovative vessels and advanced equipment, as well as providing life-cycle support. Its integrated systematic approach has helped to develop optimum product performance and long-term business partnerships.

The company’s broad customer base includes dredging operators, oil and gas corporations, offshore contractors and government authorities. IHC Merwede has over 3,000 employees based at various locations in The Netherlands, Brazil, China, Croatia, France, India, Malaysia, the Middle East, Nigeria, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Press Release, September 3, 2012