Port maintenance remains “vital” during pandemic
Caption: UK Dredging’s THSD UKD Marlin dredging at Forth Ports, Scotland (Photo Credit: Associated British Ports)
Wales-based UK Dredging has made a number of key investments to its six-strong fleet during 2020 to update its vessels and meet the requirements of changing legislation.
In an exclusive report for CEDA Industry News it said it has fitted its two Multicat work vessels – UKD Seahorse and UKD Sealion –with hydraulic shark jaws to make navigation buoy maintenance works safer and more efficient.
Further, UK Dredging, whose parent company is Associated British Ports, invested in new multi-beam sonar to support its hydrographic survey capabilities, along with installation of Dredgemaster dredge guidance and monitoring system technology across its fleet.
One of its three trailing hopper suction dredgers, UKD Orca, was also the first in the fleet to be installed with a Ballast Water Treatment System, meeting the requirements of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention.
Paul Mitchell, UK Dredging’s general manager, highlighted that despite the Covid-19 pandemic and upheaval it has created, it remains essential to maintain the UK’s ports. He told CEDA Industry News, “Due to the critical strategic importance of the UK’s ports and harbours in ensuring the continued supply of food, fuel and other supplies it has been vital that maintenance dredging operations have been able to continue.
“Our employees have gone over and above in their continued cooperation, support and hard work in these challenging and uncertain times which has made it possible to successfully meet all of our obligations and fulfil our contracted commitments to our customers”.
In the same year UK Dredging extended and renewed a number of agreements including contracts with the UK ports of Sunderland, Aberdeen, Montrose and Tyne. It also secured a five-year contract with UK Dredging’s longest customer Forth Ports as well a three-year surveying contract with Cardiff Harbour Authority.