Jan de Nul’s innovative dredging approach favoured by the Flemish Government

Jan De Nul is ready to start another dredging and beach replenishment scheme in Ostend, Belgium, which will once again be carried out in an entirely sustainable manner.

The project, which is being carried out on behalf of the Belgian Public Maritime and Coastal Services Agency (MDK), concerns maintenance replenishment works to keep the coastal protection up to standard.

Similar to last year, Jan De Nul’s trailing suction hopper dredger Alexander von Humboldt will bring some 600,000 cubic metres of dredged sand to the Ostend beach, sailing on sustainable drop-in biofuel and assisted by climate-saving earth-moving equipment.

As reported by JDN, the dredger Alexander von Humboldt will run on 100% sustainable drop-in biofuel, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 90%.

The bulldozers and excavators on the beach will be equipped with advanced exhaust gas filter systems that reduce the emission of fine dust and nitrogen by 80%.

Also worth mentioning is that the site offices for the project management team are of the latest generation, equipped with well-insulated materials and a heat pump, which reduces the energy consumption by 80%.

For this contract, environmental impact was an important award criterion, given MDK’s long-term vision on coastal protection: Flanders must prepare today for the consequences of climate change by strengthening the coasts and at the same time reducing the causes to the maximum extent possible.

“In 2019, we led the way in our sector by having a 15% CO2 reduction requirement included in Flemish dredging contracts by 2022. With our tender as well as the execution of this contract, we show that we are ready for the future and can dredge and replenish in a sustainable way,” said Bart Praet, Head of Dredging Department Benelux at Jan De Nul Group. “We show other clients that these measures are feasible and affordable. If we want to protect ourselves against rising sea levels in the long term, we must act now. The reduction of emissions simply cannot be optional anymore.”

“As maritime government partner, we want to do our part in every way to reduce the impact on the climate. We therefore pay particular attention to environmental criteria in the contracts we put out to tender,” commented Nathalie Balcaen, administrator-general of the Public Maritime and Coastal Services Agency (MDK). “This makes us a pioneer within the Flemish government to achieve the reduction targets for our country.”

Minimum nuisance to local residents and sea lovers

The dredger Alexander von Humboldt will be moored in the port of Ostend and will pump the dredged sand to the beach via a floating pipeline. This will allow a faster completion of the works, as the dredger will be able to work continuously.

Because it is working within the sheltered harbour area, the ship does not have to wait for high tide to sail closer to the coast. The execution time can therefore be shortened from 6 weeks to 5 weeks.

Every 7 hours, the Alexander von Humboldt will supply sand over a distance of 1.5 km, starting at the western harbour dam and moving on towards Thermae Palace.

Curious passers-by are given the opportunity to learn more about the works and the ambitious objectives of the Flemish government in the especially created experience centre on the seafront promenade in Ostend adjacent to Kapucijnenstraat. From the panoramic roof they get a unique view of the works on the beach and the harbour channel.

Photo: Jan De Nul