Dredging Today Conference Closes with Success

The second and the final day of our first Dredging Today Conference, taking place at Amsterdam RAI Convention Center under the theme ‘Changing Climate, Resilient Business’, has drawn to a close today on a very positive note. 

The sessions saw straight-to-the-point statements and some interesting discussions.

During the first thematical session: ‘Solutions and funding for climate change adaptation’, speakers addressed how the dredging community and dredging industry can respond to climate change.

The emphasis in this session was on what international financial institutions, in particular multilateral and regional development banks, are doing in support of climate change adaptation and how industry and national governments can become involved in adaptation action programs.

The session also included a special report from the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure, PIANC, on their views on adaptation action.

Talking about International Financing Institutions: how do they work and what prospects do they offer? – Commerijn Plomp of Netherlands Enterprise Agency said that TIO’s roles as a government partner in guiding companies towards IFI-funded projects are:

  • first contact point for Dutch companies;
  • provide info on priorities, pipeline projects, relevant contact points and competition, match with Dutch expertise;
  • advise on how the banks work, what to do, where to look and who to meet;
  • long term commitment with high-potentials;
  • connect to bilateral trade instruments.

‘The World Bank’s new procurement framework – opportunities for contractors’ was the main topic of presentation of Mr Dick Konijn, Owner – CEO, ID Consultancy BV.

Mr Konijn said that “procurement in Investment Project Financing supports clients to achieve value for money with integrity in delivering sustainable development.”

During his presentation, Mr Louis Strydom, Business Development Manager – Project Development, FMO – Dutch Development Bank, introduced his insights on the finance solutions that work for climate adaptation.

Speaking about climate change adaptations of ports and inland waterways – Ine Moulaert, Senior Engineer Marine Environmental Department, Jan de Nul, Member, PIANC Working Group 178 on Climate Change Adaptation, said that one of PIANC objectives is to develop an approach on climate change adaptation planning and delivery.

She also added that four categories of action, in line with expectations of Paris agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, are:

  • expand network of partners and supporters, raise awareness of climate-relates issues throughout sector;
  • promote action to reduce (net) greenhouse emissions;
  • improve preparedness, strengthen resilience and enable the waterborne transport infrastructure sector to adapt to climate change;
  • encourage new ways of thinking.

During the thematical session ‘Dredging for clean energy’, speakers discussed the developments where dredging meets climate mitigation.

Rob van der Hage, Manager North Sea Infrastructure, TenneT, highlighted the importance of developing the offshore grid for wind power. “Future of offshore wind depends on cost reduction,” said Mr van der Hage.

Talking about dredging for hydropower, Jan Peters, Managing Director, Alia Instruments & Imotec, made some very interesting points about dam related solutions for sediment problem and restoring of reservoirs capacity by sustainable dredging.

In the closing session: How are you making your business resilient?, a panel discussion on how the dredging industry is preparing for the future took place.

Topics and speakers included in this session:

  • how are companies anticipating climate change and its effects;
  • how are companies working on project integration and collaborating in a more holistic way;
  • how are companies leveraging technologies developed outside the industry?
  • Gert-Jan Nieuwenhuizen, Managing Director, Port of Amsterdam International;
  • André van Hassent, Asset Manager Ports & Fairways, Port of Rotterdam;
  • Olivier Marcus, Product Director Dredging, Damen Shipyards;
  • John Mackenzie, Business Development Director, NMDC;
  • Maurice de Kok, Director Strategic Business Development, Van Oord.

International exhibitors and projects

The first Dredging Today Conference was closed by Femke Perlot-Hoogeveen, the Conference Manager.

The eminent speakers presented topical insights on the global picture about the climate changes, dredging, covering the main drivers for dredging, expected developments in world trade, urban development near coastlines, coastal protection, offshore energy and tourism and leisure.

In these two days, DTC also showed its international focus; comprehensive session blocks were devoted to answering the question: How the world in which the dredging industry operates is changing.

We are looking forward to seeing you next year on October 22 and 23 in Amsterdam RAI!