Reinforcing the Dutch coast by Van Oord

Van Oord’s brand-new trailing suction hopper dredgers Vox Ariane and Vox Apolonia are working together to protect the Dutch coast.

Photo courtesy of Van Oord

The coast of Zeeland, Netherlands, is facing erosion from powerful currents, waves and wind. That’s why Van Oord was commissioned to take action by implementing beach nourishment. The works are part of the Netherlands’ Coastline Care programme of Rijkswaterstaat, intended to reinforce the Dutch coast.

Van Oord’s scope includes beach- and trench wall replenishment at the Westkapelse Zeedijk, Oostgat and Nieuwvliet-Groede in the province of Zeeland.

During beach replenishment, sand is pumped to the beach by a trailing suction hopper dredger via a pipeline. Applying this replenishment method allows the company to stabilise the coastline, protecting coastal communities and infrastructure.

The trench wall replenishment method means that Van Oord fills parts of the channel just off the coast, the Oostgat, with sand. If it becomes less deep, the current can carry less sand and the coast stays in place longer. In total, approximately 4 million cubic metres of sand will be applied.

Photo courtesy of Van Oord

Net-zero emissions

What makes this project extra special is that Vox Ariane and Vox Apolonia are running on LNG during the project execution. This is a more sustainable alternative for Marine Gas Oil (MGO), free of sulphur and particulates.

The combustion process is also different to that of MGO, resulting in far less nitrogen dioxide being emitted. Switching to this kind of alternative sources of fuel for Van Oord fleet will help the company to achieve their net-zero emissions targets by 2050.

Three new LNG-powered trailing suction hopper dredgers

Vox Apolonia and Vox Ariane are part of a series of three brand new trailing suction hopper dredgers that are being added to Van Oord fleet. The third sister vessel Vox Alexia will be christened this September.

These vessels will help Van Oord to further modernise its fleet, making it more innovative and energy efficient. Their LNG fuel system and energy-efficient design will reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions substantially.

It is precisely for this reason that the three vessels were presented with the Dutch Maritime KVNR Shipping Award in 2022. According to the jury, Van Oord’s introduction of the three vessels marks it as ‘a trailblazer for international standards aimed at minimising climate and environmental impact within the available technological capabilities.