People & Projects

How to start a successful dredging project

Every successful dredging project starts with a thorough assessment of the requirements. Questions need to be answered, such as: what is the purpose of the dredging activities, what kind of soil will we encounter and in what volumes, what is the time schedule, what is the water depth and how accessible is the dredge site? Based on all the different elements, the best dredging material can be selected.

Dredging objective

What is the aim of the dredging project? Some of the most common types of dredging projects are:

  • channel and port maintenance
  • channel and port construction or deepening (capital dredging)
  • coastal protection and beach nourishment
  • land reclamation
  • mining and aggregate dredging
  • offshore works, pipeline trenches
  • improvement of the environment

Click here to read more about the purposes of dredging.

Volumes of soil

The volume of soil that needs to be dredged is based on the size of the dredging area, as well as the thickness of the layers of soil and the type of soil. Reliable calculations are important as miscalculations in the planning phase can make the difference between a successful, profitable project and a loss. Agreement on the method of measurement is also very important as different methods are used.

Soil characteristics 

Click here to read more about the different soil types

What kinds of soil will be encountered? Is it sand, clay, silt, gravel or rock? What is the grain size distribution and what is the grain shape? The characteristics of the soil largely determine the kind of dredging equipment that is needed. Can you go for a standardised cutter suction dredger or is specialised equipment required, such as a dredge wheel? Or is a trailing suction hopper dredger the vessel of choice?

Available time

The available time in combination with the size of the project will be the deciding factor in terms of the required dredging capacity.

Site conditions

  • Accessibility of the area for the equipment: can the dredger sail to the dredge site or does it need to be transported to site?
  • Are there any tides and/or currents?
  • What is the water depth?
  • What is the climate like?
  • Are there any restrictions due to environmental conditions?
  • What is the distance to the disposal site?
  • Are there any local conditions or special requirements to be considered?

The Cost Calculator will help you select the best equipment for a specific dredging project. Click here to find out what equipment you need.

Equipment Selector

Calculate if a hopper dredger or a cutter suction dredger is most suitable for your project! And request an estimation of the costs per dredged m3