The new Suez Canal in Egypt will be officially opened today. A project for which Jan De Nul Group realized no less than one third of all works.
“And that is something we are very proud of,” said Jan Pieter De Nul, CEO of Jan De Nul Group. “This really is an iconic performance. It fits in the same category as Palm Island in Dubai and Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong. In less than one year, about 250 million m³ had to be dredged. We took care of 33.4%. A truly unmatched performance.”
The project was a challenge because of its size but above all because of the very tight deadline. To complete such a project in less than twelve months is unprecedented.
“The only way to realize this project was for us dredgers to join forces,” he added.” In all, six dredging companies participated in the project, divided over two joint ventures. Still, we had the larger share of the dredging works. This is only logical as thanks to our major investments over the past ten years, we now have the biggest and most powerful cutter fleet in the world. As the soil mainly consists of compacted sand, alternated at some places by rigid clay, this was just the type of vessel that was required for the job.”
Shortest shipping route
The Suez Canal is the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia and is about 170 km long. In order to increase the capacity of the canal and expand the industrial activity in the region, the canal was doubled over a length of 50 km. Hence, the distance over which vessels can cross each other becomes considerably longer, thus seriously reducing the waiting periods.
The work was divided into 5 contract lots and awarded to two joint ventures.
The joint venture Jan De Nul Group was part of, carried out lots 2 up to 5 of the contract or 200 out of a total of 250 million m³ of dredging works. The other joint venture did the rest.
For this project, Jan De Nul Group mobilized seven cutter suction dredgers, namely J.F.J. De Nul, Hondius, Kaerius, Fernão de Magalhães, Ibn Battuta, Leonardo da Vinci and Zheng He. The cutter suction dredgers have a total installed diesel power of 134,720 KW.
Jan De Nul employed about 2,000 people, about half of which was local and the other half European.