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Meeting the future needs of the growing tourism industry

  • 5 million tourists a year
  • 5 million cubic metres of sand dredged from the access channel and port areas
  • 3 million cubic metres of sand reclaimed at airport
  • 35 hectares of new land

Famous for its golden beaches, rich cultural heritage and lush green rice terraces, Bali is the most popular tourist destination in the Indonesian archipelago. The number of tourists visiting this tropical island has risen significantly since the 1980s. Tourism-related business currently accounts for 80% of the local economy. 

Improving Bali’s infrastructure

To meet the future needs of the growing tourism industry, Bali is investing in its infrastructure and accessibility. The Port of Benoa needed a drastic upgrade to accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships, and the island’s international airport had no space to expand. Van Oord was awarded two projects: first, the deepening and improvement of the Port of Benoa, and second, land reclamation for Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Upgrade of Benoa port

In early 2018, port operator Pelindo III awarded Van Oord the contract for a dredging and marine construction project meant to improve access to Benoa, Bali’s most important port. The project would result in more and larger mooring facilities for mega cruise ships and includes modernisation of the local fishing harbour. Van Oord deployed one of its largest cutter suction dredgers, the Artemis, along with trailing suction hopper dredger HAM 318. The vessels removed five million cubic metres of soil from the access channel and port areas. 

Expansion of main gateway for tourists

Shortly after being awarded the port project, Van Oord won the contract for the expansion of Ngurah Rai International Airport, the main gateway for the tourists visiting the island. The project involved the reclamation of 35 ha of new land. 3.0 million cubic metres of sand was delivered successfully and on time, resulting in around 70 football fields of new land for the airport. 


At the Ngurah Rai project site, the swell of the Indian Ocean was a key concern for the execution. We realised that the large ocean swell would break against the pipeline equipment, needed to transport the sand to the reclamation site. As a measurement, we installed a 1,000 metre sinker line to cross the surf zone. Its installation was a challenging operation, requiring a window with the right conditions such as tide, current and waves, as well as an experienced project team.

Mark van der Hoeven, Regional Manager at Van Oord

Long track record

‘Both projects contribute to the local economy by providing better access for tourists, enabling the Balinese tourist industry to grow,’ says Mark van der Hoeven, Regional Manager. ‘These dredging projects are a valuable addition to our long track record in Indonesia.’ Some of Van Oord's other Indonesian projects include the port expansion in Belawan and in Tanjung Priok