Portsmouth Prepares for Dredging
The preparation works are currently underway for dredging at HMNB Portsmouth ahead of the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.
In June, the Defense Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) announced it had awarded a contract worth £31 million to Fareham based Boskalis Westminster Ltd for work to ready the harbor for the ships.
While the dredging vessel is not due to start its activity until next month, a crane barge, known as Strekker, has already begun removing debris from the dredge site which could cause an obstruction.
DIO project manager, Paul Simmonds, said: “DIO is working with Boskalis Westminster and the navy to deliver the infrastructure needed to support the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth Carriers. This initial work is important to ensure that dredging activity can start.”
The carriers will be significantly larger than any ships that currently use Portsmouth Harbor so Boskalis Westminster Ltd will dredge the approach channel, inner harbor area and berth pocket, making them deep and wide enough for the new ships.
In total around 3 million cubic meters of clay, sand and gravel will be removed from the harbor by the trailing suction hopper and backhoe dredgers.
The dredging scheme is part of a program of work by DIO to prepare for the arrival of the carriers, which also includes rebuilding the Middle Slip Jetty.