LNG suction dredgers - Vox Ariane, Vox Apolonia, and Vox Alexia stabilized Dutch coastline

21 December 2023

Recently Van Oord successfully executed beach nourishment works along the coast of the Dutch province of Zeeland. This initiative resulted in stabilizing the coastline, providing protection to coastal towns and infrastructure for the years to come. The project utilized three new hopper dredgers (flying the Dutch flag) from Van Oord's fleet, including the recently christened Vox Alexia.

Throughout the project, the vessels were powered by LNG, a more sustainable fuel choice. This endeavor was part of the Coastline Care program led by Rijkswaterstaat, the executive agency of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Safeguarding the Zeeland coast

Van Oord focused on reinforcing and safeguarding the Zeeland coast through sand replenishment at Westkapelse Zeedijk and Nieuwvliet-Groede. The hopper dredgers collected sand from the seabed, pumping it through a pipeline onto the beach. Natural forces such as weather and wind were then utilized to further spread the sand, allowing the dunes to naturally grow and enhance coastal protection.

At the Oostgat shipping channel, the channel wall underwent replenishment, involving the backfilling of sand to alter the channel's proximity to the shore. This adjustment prevents excessive sand erosion from the beach, contributing to a more stable coastline.

In total, approximately 4 million cubic meters of sand were applied, playing a crucial role not only in coastal safety but also in preserving nature conservation areas, supporting recreational opportunities, and safeguarding drinking water extraction.

LNG suction dredgers

A distinctive aspect of the project was the use of three new LNG suction dredgers - Vox Ariane, Vox Apolonia, and Vox Alexia - by Van Oord. This marked the Vox Alexia's inaugural project since its recent christening.

The vessels were powered by LNG during operations, reflecting a sustainable fuel choice with zero sulphur and particulates, and reduced nitrogen dioxide emissions compared to marine gas oil (MGO). Rijkswaterstaat's decision to award the project to Van Oord aligns with its commitment to achieving net-zero CO2 emissions and fully circular operations by 2030.

Source: Van Oord