Boskalis’ giant Magnor wraps up work in Southampton

Boskalis’ backhoe dredger Magnor has successfully wrapped up a major navigation channel widening project in Port of Southampton.

Photo courtesy of ABP

Dredging of the Western Docks will enable the largest container vessels to pass the biggest cruise ships berthed in the Port.

The first significant channel-widening project in the port in the last decade involved the removal of 900,000m3 of predominately clay based material over a 2 kilometer stretch of the channel, widening it by 30 – 65 meters.

Steve Masters, Southampton Harbour Master, said: “The container vessels coming into Southampton are the largest in the World, carrying up to 24,000 containers. This program enables the safe navigation of these huge vessels and supports the UK container handling capability. Our thanks are extended to all those involved in the project.”

Andrew Hallam, ABP Southampton Program Lead, said: “This project is a considerable investment enabling the World’s largest vessels to enter the Port and support the UK’s import and export markets. It has been a very complex and challenging project to navigate due to the number of stakeholders and consenting requirements, as well as delivering the project through the winter with several significant weather events.”

The project was two years in the making and managed by ABP Southampton’s Engineering and Marine Teams. Along with extensive navigation simulation exercises to determine the scope of work, comprehensive geotechnical surveys allowed the team to assess the nature of the material to be removed and the type of dredging equipment to be used during the work.

Diver operations assessed the seabed for historical unexploded ordnance and safely recovered marine debris such as anchors and tires from the seabed. Archaeological sampling was completed before the dredging program commenced.

The timeframe to complete the dredge was restricted to the winter months to ensure the activity did not impact the salmon migration to the River Test.