Peel Ports Group opts for eco-friendly dredging

Peel Ports Group has welcomed a new energy efficient LNG dredger for the first time as it continues to improve the sustainability of its dredging work.

Photo courtesy of Peel Ports

The UK’s second largest port operator used Dutch marine contractor Van Oord’s groundbreaking Vox Apolonia for maintenance dredging of the Port of Liverpool and King George V Dock in Glasgow.

It is the first time the LNG trailing suction hopper dredger has been used at any of the group’s ports, and only the second time it has carried out work in the UK.

The Vox Apolonia uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) and has a significantly lower carbon footprint than conventional trailing suction hopper dredgers. The use of LNG reduces nitrous oxide emissions by 90 per cent, as well as totally eliminating sulphur emissions.

Peel Ports Group – which is committed to being a net zero port operator by 2040 – first welcomed the vessel to the Port of Liverpool this month, before it carried out work in Glasgow, and returned for further work at its site in Liverpool.

At the same time, Van Oord also provided its new hybrid water-injection dredger Maas to the port, bunkered for the first time with a biofuel blend. The company estimates she currently emits 40 per cent less CO2e than her predecessor whilst dredging for the port group in Liverpool.

It comes as the firm supplied four separate vessels to carry out important dredging of the Liverpool channel and docks at the same time.

Garry Doyle, Group Harbour Master at Peel Ports Group, said; “We are always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment across our port estate. We are striving to become net zero across the group by 2040, and the Vox Apolonia is a step ahead in terms of its sustainability credentials.”

“Maintenance dredging is vital to both support the functioning of our ports, and to provide a safe navigation for vessels passing through our waters,” added Doyle. “It’s important to us that we use methods that are as energy efficient as possible to do this work, and that’s why we chose the Vox Apolonia for this important project.”

Marine Bourgeois, Project Manager at Van Oord, said: “We’re constantly researching and investing to bring our fleet to the next level in terms of sustainability. We have our own commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and the Vox Apolonia is the next step towards that goal.”

Maintenance dredging involves the removal of sediments that have built up in existing channels, berths, approaches, and associated swing basins. The work helps maintain a safe depth of water for vessels passing through its ports.