Sustainable beach replenishment in Raversijde & Knokke, Belgium
Due to its low position and rising sea level - a consequence of global warming - the Belgian coast is very vulnerable. Commissioned by the Flemish government, agency Maritime Services and Coast (MDK), we are therefore depositing 500,000 cubic metres of sand on Raversijde beach to raise our coast and protect it from the force of the sea. In Knokke, we are dredging 900,000 cubic metres of sand for this purpose. With the dredged sand that we bring in, the beach can maintain its natural coastal dynamics and break heavy wave attacks during storms. In total, we are restoring 4.5 kilometres of beach length in a matter of weeks. Beach nourishment remains the most effective measure to protect us from floods from the sea, even though it requires regular maintenance. Moreover, replenishments create a natural environment where not only people but also plants and animals can have their place. These works fit within the framework of Masterplan Kustveiligheid.
The equipment used by Jan De Nul for these dredging and earthmoving works meets the strictest sustainability standards. During the works, the trailing suction hopper dredger Pedro Álvares Cabral runs on 100% sustainable drop-in biofuel. This not only reduces CO₂ emissions, but also releases significantly less fine dust into the air. For the earthworks on the beach, we mobilise the most advanced bulldozers and excavators, all equipped with exhaust gas filter systems. The project management team on site has the latest generation of ecological site offices, equipped with high-insulating materials. As a result, Jan De Nul Group has reduced its CO2 emissions by 90% and its NOx emissions and energy consumption in the site offices by 80%.