Spotlight on the sand engine concept in Togo and Benin

After almost a year of work, Boskalis has successfully completed the coastal protection project in Togo and Benin.

Photo courtesy of Boskalis

During this coastal defence scheme, trailing suction hopper dredger Willem van Oranje made almost 800 trips between the offshore sand borrow area and the shore to successfully construct a sand engine.

The sand engine concept, co-developed by Boskalis, has been successfully applied in the Netherlands over the past decade.

With the TSHD Willem van Oranje Boskalis created a 6.4 million cubic meter sand engine along a stretch of the Benin coast to naturally supply the coastline with ’fresh sand’ for years to come. In addition, more than a million cubic meters of sand was deposited to directly replenish the eroded beaches.

This principle of building with nature will reinforce the coastline in a robust and natural way.

Photo courtesy of Boskalis

Along the west coast of Africa, the average rate of coastal erosion is one to two meters per year. Locally, however, more severe erosion of more than ten meters per year have been observed.

The coastal protection project in Benin and neighboring Togo is part of the West African Coastal Areas Management (WACA) program.

The project was awarded by the governments of Togo and Benin with the financing made available by the World Bank.

In addition to the sand engine in Benin, the coastal protection project includes the construction of fifteen new groins and refurbishing of six existing groins in Benin and Togo.