Jan De Nul helps to boost Mauritania’s iron ore export

Jan De Nul Group kicked off the deepening and widening dredging in the inner port channel and turning basin of the large ore export port of Nouadhibou, Mauritania. With the deepening and widening of the 25-km long entrance channel to the mineral terminal of Port of Nouadhibou, the National Industrial and Mineral Authority of Mauritania (Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière or SNIM) opens the port for vessels with a capacity of up to 250,000 tonnes.

One of Jan De Nul’s largest Cutter Suction Dredgers Zheng He arrived in the first week of October on site. She will soon be assisted by another Jan De Nul dredger, the Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger Leiv Eiriksson which will arrive in the second half of October. Both vessels will evacuate about 21.6 million m³ of sediments and transport them to a dedicated offshore location. The turning circle of the port will be deepened to -20.3 m.

Optimisation of production planning

In order to be able to dredge and dispose these significant quantities within the set period of 12 months, Cutter Suction Dredger Zheng He and Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger Leiv Eiriksson will work simultaneously: the Zheng He will pre-cut the sandstone after which the Leiv Eiriksson will dredge the sediments and dispose them offshore.

Jan De Nul Group was previously awarded by the DPC Innovation Awards for this efficient working method in 2018. In Taiwan, a cutter suction dredger pre-cut hard mudstone in the Port of Linkou which was subsequently dredged by a trailing suction hopper dredger for the extension works in the Port of Taipei. This pre-cutting by a cutter dredger and subsequent dredging with a hopper dredger, on this scale, is unprecedented.

Facts on the project

The Port of Nouadhibou is located on the West Coast of Mauritania and is an important iron ore export facility. Mauritania is the second-largest iron ore export nation in Africa. The project is supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).