Dutch-Spanish co-operation between Damen Dredging Equipment (DDE) and Bilbao-based Astilleros de Murueta shipyard has seen the first dredger for the Chambre de Commerce d’Industrie de Bayonne Pays Basque delivered successfully after extensive trials.
The 1,200 m³ trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Hondarra – meaning ‘sand’ in Basque – will work in the French port of Bayonne, which the Chambre de Commerce operates, carrying out maintenance dredging as well as replenishing beaches.
Speaking to IHS Maritime, a DDE spokeswoman said, “This is the fourth vessel built through our co-operation with Astilleros de Murueta; we don’t have a contract signed yet for a fifth vessel but we’re working on it.
“We didn’t face too many challenges this time; the shipyard knew what to expect in terms of dredging equipment deliveries and everything went very smoothly.
“One special feature on Hondarra, however, is the degassing system,” she added. “Bayonne is an industrial port and there will be gas trapped in the silt. Without a degassing system, it would stop the dredge pump working and block the entire dredging process. And it’s quite a performance to clean sand-blocked pipes.”
The TSHD was designed by Astilleros de Murueta as a straightforward, fit-for-purpose dredger, according to port Bayonne’s specifications.
“Hondarra has two 1,270 kW main diesel engines,” yard spokesman Josu Apraiz told IHS Maritime. “It is 61.8 m long and besides the trailing dredging pipe system has a 3.2 m³ bucket grab crane for dredging compacted sand.”
DDE supplied all the dredging equipment, including the dredge pump and degassing system; dredge valves and overflows; the hopper bottom doors; and the bow coupling that enables it to ‘rainbow’ sand – especially useful when replenishing beaches.
Hondarra boasts a 500 mm trailing pipe that gives it a maximum dredging depth of 20 m, which was delivered complete with gantries, winches, and instrumentation that includes trailing pipe position, load and draught position indication, plus survey software.