Dredging is one of our company’s core activities. We have global ambitions in the fields of dredging and marine engineering, ambitions that we are achieving by continually shifting the boundaries of technology. Examples of our innovative approach include water injection dredging and the Building with Nature programme. We work with international experts on solving environmental problems out in the field. Collectively, we refer to these innovations as the Van Oord Guards.
Ports and waterways
Countries continue to expand their ports. They need to because the volume of trade is growing and because ships are getting bigger. Longer quay walls and wider, deeper access channels are therefore crucial. One of the largest and most iconic maritime projects of our time was dredging the new Suez Canal in Egypt. Twenty-one cutter suction dredgers were deployed with the largest and most powerful dredgers in the world among them, such as Van Oord’s Artemis. Another great example is the creation of a world-class container terminal on the Caribbean coast: the Moín container terminal in Costa Rica. From dredging to the construction of a breakwater and ground improvement works. It all happens simultaneously and in close proximity.
Trend-watchers have predicted a mass migration worldwide from interior regions to coastal areas. Cities and ports are therefore expanding in the direction of the water. We make this expansion possible by dredging sand at sea and depositing it closer to shore. The land that we reclaim can be used for a variety of purposes: as ports, industrial estates, nature reserves or housing developments.
Attractive coastal areas offer an ever-greater variety of holiday options. Such areas are investing in beach and shoreline expansion, sites for new cruise ship terminals, and modern airports. We built Palm Island and The World in Dubai; both are examples of forward thinking combined with ingenious execution methods.
Wind and water are a constant threat to coastal areas and can damage their natural defences. With our headquarters in a country that is largely below sea level, we know all about this. Our beach nourishment operations are meant to defend the coast against erosion, and we call on nature itself to assist us. We know how to use sand as a motor for coastal defence.
Delta regions are at risk being flooded, not only by the sea but also by rivers. Dikes and embankments were invented in the Netherlands to protect the land against the water. That is why we have ample experience in constructing and maintaining dikes, breakwaters, quay walls and various types of shore and bank protection.
Underwater drilling and blasting
In cases where the sea bottom is exceptionally hard, we offer the option of fragmenting underwater rock layers with explosives. This method is known as drilling and blasting. We remove hard rock for infrastructure projects, for example when dredging port access channels, digging trenches for pipelines and cables, or constructing quays.
Vertical and horizontal drainage
Our activities are not limited to depositing sand. We also use various consolidation techniques to rapidly prepare reclaimed land or deposited sand for infrastructure construction. Our Wicks business unit specialises in these techniques.
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