The Belgian dredging, environmental and marine engineering group DEME announced that their pioneering dual fuel trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) ‘Scheldt River’ has returned to the Elbe in Germany after an LNG bunkering operation.

‘Scheldt River’ is currently being used to carry out dredging work on the Elbe River with the aim of improving large vessel access at the Port of Hamburg.

The project consists of the widening and deepening of the 116km long fairway between Cuxhaven and Hamburg to a level of -14.5m.

The much-delayed Elbe River deepening program started in late July with a symbolic push of the button after which TSHD Scheldt River kicked off the works that should be completed early in 2021.

For this scheme, DEME has deployed its most modern hopper dredgers, backhoe dredgers and spreader pontoons for the dredging, transportation and relocation of around 32 million m³ of material.

The 8,400 m³ TSHD ‘Scheldt River’ is the second dredger in the DEME fleet equipped with dual-fuel engines. The highly innovative vessel can operate in LNG mode, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, almost eliminating sulphur, NOx and particle emissions. LNG is intrinsically clean and there is no need for exhaust gas cleaning systems.