Deficit of domestic dredging fleet – key challenge for Russia

The deficit of domestic technical fleet is among the key challenges for Russia’s infrastructure projects today, according to the Port News.


The dredging fleet available in Russia today is an order of magnitude inferior to the fleet of specialized foreign companies that have left the Russian market.

According to the estimates of FSUE Hydrographic Company, presented during the Congress by General Director Aleksandr Bengert, the total capacity of Russia’s hopper dredgers is 39.000 cbm, while Belgian company DEME (one of the world’s leaders in the dredging market which left Russia in the beginning of 2022) has a fleet of hopper dredgers of 240.000 cbm in capacity.

Rosmorport photo

To develop and maintain Russia’s port infrastructure on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) FSUE Hydrographic Company, a company of Rosatom, needs to get 11 units of dredging fleet by 2026-2027.

“Russia needs a single dredging operator,” said Aleksandr Bengert. “This will let solve the key issue – the coordination of the resources available in the country. Amid the limited capacity of the Russian dredging fleet, the lack of coordination in dredging leads to incorrect deployment of the fleet, incorrect planning and incorrect prioritizing of projects.”

“While Russia has an experience in building cutter suction and multi-bucket dredgers, the situation with hopper dredgers is more complicated. We have never faced a task in this format in Russia,” added Yevgeny Leonov, Head of USC Department for Sales and Contracts.

Russia has commenced the work on creation of its own high-performance hopper dredgers, which are in demand for operation in conditions of short navigation seasons in the harbors of the Northern Sea ports Route.

Almaz Design Bureau and USC are working on designing and construction of hopper dredgers with holds of 4,000 and 8,000 cbm.

As Aleksanr Zekov, Head of the Sector, Department for General and Special Devices, Drives and Hydraulic Systems, Central Design Bureau Almaz, said at the Congress, work on this project has been underway since July 2022.