Maintenance dredging works in the marinas of Nieuwpoort set new sustainability standards

Unique CO2-reducing measures set an example for the industry

Early this week, the maintenance dredging works in the marinas of Nieuwpoort on the Belgian coast, got underway. What makes this project so unique, are the CO2-reducing measures taken by Jan De Nul Group. An example for the industry and future dredging works in Europe.

The maintenance dredging works in Nieuwpoort entail the dredging works in the port access channel and in the marinas. A large part of the dredging works are executed by means of the Cutter Suction Dredger Hendrik Geeraert and the split hopper barges Magellano and Verrazzano. 

Earlier this year, Jan De Nul Group announced its commitment to emit 15% less CO2 on this project. To achieve this goal the vessels Magellano and Verrazzano will be equipped with renewable biofuel from certified and sustainable waste flows. Together with the Alexander von Humboldt, Jan De Nul Group now has three vessels in the Benelux sailing on sustainable biofuel.

To further highlight its pioneering role, Jan De Nul Group has set up its newly developed energy-efficient construction shed, which consumes about 80% less energy than a standard construction site office, for its local office in Nieuwpoort. A first in Belgium.

Sustainable fleet in Europe

As earlier mentioned, three Jan De Nul vessels in the Benelux are currently running on 100% sustainable fuel. And the ambitions are to go much higher. 

“In early 2020, our brand new trailing suction hopper dredger Sanderus will come to Belgium to execute maintenance dredging works on the river Scheldt and alongside the coast”, says Michel Deruyck, Head of the Energy Team of Jan De Nul Group. “Like all our new vessels, this new dredger is a ULEv (Ultra-Low Emission vessel). It is equipped with a state-of-the-art exhaust gas treatment system that extracts up to 99% of the nanoparticles from exhaust gases. Add to this the renewable fuel that will be used for this vessel and you’ll have a huge CO2 reduction and strongly decreased air emissions.”

Besides, measurements show that these vessels emit more than 90% less nitrous oxides (NOx). “It is exactly the emission of this nitrous oxide that appears to be problematic during the execution of the replenishment works ‘Kustlijnzorg’ in the Netherlands.”

We want to show to our colleagues within the construction industry that energy efficiency needn’t be difficult.

Michel Deruyck

Head of Energy at Jan De Nul Group

Michel Deruyck

Energy-efficient construction shed 2.0

Jan De Nul Group also invests in the energy efficiency of its infrastructure and starts rolling out its ACT GREEN programme on the site in Nieuwpoort. 

The site is equipped with the very latest energy-efficient construction shed. Through the extra insulation of walls, roof and floor, combined with triple glass, door pumps and an improved air density, heat and cold losses are minimised. Solar panels on the roof provide energy, a heat pump ensures heating and cooling. Conventional lights are replaced by led lighting. 

All these measures result in 80% less energy consumption. “With our construction shed 2.0, we show both our employees and clients our high sustainability ambitions throughout all our business operations: from the very smallest to the highest energy consumers. In this way, we at Jan De Nul want to show to our colleagues within the construction industry that energy efficiency needn’t be difficult.”

Attention to ecological criteria

In its invitation for tenders for maintenance dredging works in the coastal marine of Nieuwpoort, the Flemish government, through its agency ‘Maritieme Dienstverlening en Kust’ (Marine and Coastal Services MDK), encouraged tenderers to pay maximum attention to CO2 reduction through innovation. The submitted CO2 reduction proposals were taken into account when assessing the tender and contract allocation.

“As a Flemish marine government agency, we want to focus on limiting our environmental impact in all ways possible,” says Nathalie Balcaen, Administrator-General of the MDK Agency. “That is why we pay special attention to ecological criteria when inviting for tenders. This already results today in a concrete CO2 reduction thanks to the ecologically sound execution of dredging works based on the initiatives of the contractors with which we work together.”

As a Flemish marine government agency, we focus on limiting our environmental impact in all ways possible.

Nathalie Balcaen

Administrator-General of MDK Agency