• 2015 February 25

    Deep findings

    Russian ports should engage in dredging to keep from touching the bottom. Dynamic development of national port infrastructure necessitates large-scale dredging works. Their efficiency depends on improved legislation, attraction of worldwide leaders and construction of dedicated domestic fleet. The above issues were discussed by the industry representatives at the II International Forum of Dredging Companies arranged by Media Group PortNews.

    Depth of legislation

    Russia is set to undertake large-scale dredging in the nearest future. These works will include both new projects and maintenance dredging. Their significance was covered at the Forum by Executive Director of FSUE Rosmorport Andrey Lavrishchev. According to him, the scope of dredging works under construction and reconstruction of facilities in 2015 will make 30.8 mln cbm while maintenance dredging in 2015-17 will make 38.16 mln cbm.

    Andrey Lavrishchev says, the works will be executed under the following projects: construction of a coal terminal of SDS-Ugol (Sukhodol Bay), reconstruction of water area at berth No2 of Spetsmornefteport Kozmino  (port Vostochny), development of coastal and sea infrastructure at seaport Gelendzhik, port Sabetta, outer port Bronka (Saint-Petersburg), construction of transport and transshipment complex for handling of coal at Muchka Bay (port Vanino). Besides, feasibility study is underway for the construction of an international marine terminal for cruise and passenger vessels in Pionersky city (port Kaliningrad).

    These are quite considerable volumes making Russian market significant for the leading specialized companies worldwide and requiring improvements of the related legislation.

    According to the report of Konstantin Palnikov, Director of RF Transport Ministry’s Department of State Policy for Marine and River Transport, the list of hazardous substances allowed for bottom soil which is to be used for construction purposes within internal sea waters and territorial sea of the Russian Federation, as well as the regulations for the use of such soil are of primary importance today. They are to be approved in 2015, approximately by the season of dredging operations.

    When developing draft regulations on the list of hazardous substances, Transport Ministry proposed to include a clause on non-application of the ban on disposal of extracted soil containing ‘traces of pollutants’. Otherwise, it will be impossible to use/dispose extracted soil, the Ministry believes.

    According to the proposal, extracted soil can be used if concentration of hazardous substances in it does not exceed that of the soil in the area of construction before the extracted soil was used.

    The Regulations on the use of soil will, in their turn, regulate legal relations between the natural and legal entities involved in dredging operations and construction of facilities within internal sea waters and territorial sea of Russia.

    From Belgium to China

    To deal with the challenging tasks the industry will inevitably attract foreign partners representing the leading dredging companies.

    As Branch Manager of Van Oord in Russia Anko Bos said at the II International Forum of Dredging Companies, global experience in defending the environment should be taken into consideration when dredging and land reclamation activities are undertaken. Ecological risks are extremely high here: direct devastation of natural habitat, accumulation of nutrient substances and overgrowing of water reservoir, silting and darkening of water. Anko Bos shared the experience of the Netherlands in environment protection in the course of such activities and expressed the willingness of his company to participate in river flood preventing operations in Russia. Besides, the Dutch are experienced in debottlenecking of rivers which is a high priority in Russia. The Company’s technologies allowing for preventing of overflow resulting in floods are covered in our previous article >>>>

    Close connection between environment protection activities and dredging operations was covered by Stijn Kenis,  Sabetta Project Director of Mordraga (Belgium). According to him, key aspects of the works included into the Environment Protection Plan under Sabetta’s dredging project (Yamal) are the water quality, interaction with marine fauna, oil spill response plan, greenhouse gas emissions and waste management.

    Water quality should be achieved through dumping activities, analysis of spectrometer images, monitoring at the site. Interaction with marine fauna requires management of vessel interaction, biological noise and overseeing fauna forms.

    As for greenhouse gas emissions, USK Most project monitoring and other activities related to energy efficiency of vessels and compliance with MARPOL requirements are underway.

    Project Manager at Yan De Nul Group Stijn Juresic told about global trends influencing the market of dredging services. According to him, land reclamation is getting more profitable today as compared with the purchase of the available plots of land on the coast. Large capacity dredgers are required to excavate and move huge volumes of sand for a long distance with one voyage. More over, the global sea level rise threatens with flooding of territories inhabited by 1 bln people worldwide. This risk touches coastal areas of Russia as well. Consequently, reinforcement of banks through land reclamation is an important activity of the dredging industry.

    Eduard Silantyev, representative of Dutch company Boskalis, also shared the experience of land reclamation. That was about the terminal of outer port Bronka in Saint-Petersburg. The scope of works totaled 3 mln cbm of material.

    The dredging works at Bronka have now been picked up by Chinese company СССС. Ma Shaoshen, representative of CCCC Tianjin Dredging Co., Ltd., told the Forum about the company history and experience.

    Domestic steel

    Participation of foreign companies in this industry is reasonable and necessary without prejudice to the development of domestic dredging industry. First of all, it means the renovation and expansion of the country’s dredging fleet. According to Andrey Lavrishchev, Rosmorport is interested in participation of foreign companies in tenders for repair dredging but part of works is to be performed by Rosmorport itself. For that purpose, FSUE Rosmorport is going to expand its fleet with four new dredgers in 2016-2017.

    According to him, three dredgers will have holds of 1,000 cbm in capacity and one vessel – 2,000 cbm hold. One of the three dredgers with 1,000-cbm hold is to be built in 2017, all the other vessels – in 2016. The vessels will be registered in Arkhangelsk (the one with hold capacity of 2,000-cbm), Tuapse, Saint-Petersburg and Ust-Luga.

    The larger dredger is under construction at Damen shipyard in Vietnam, the rest of vessels – at Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard (Russia).

    The vessels are being built to RS class and will be able to operate in slight ice conditions.
    As of today, FSUE Rosmorport’s dredging fleet numbers 9 vessels (built from 1961 to 2013).

    The above vessels are to be used for repair dredging, According to Rosmorport representative, the scope of repair dredging scheduled for 2015 is 12.4 mln cbm, for 2016 – 12.75 mln cbm, for 2017 – 13.01 mln cbm. In 2015, 7.7 mln cbm of material is to be excavated by Rosmorport on its own, the rest is to be fulfilled by contracting companies.

    In particular, the Baltic Basin is to see dredging of 1.3 mln cbm of material in 2015 and 1.65 mln cbm in 2016. The Arctic Basin - 0.9 mln cbm in 2015 and 3 mln cbm in 2016. The Southern Basin - 10.2 mln cbm in 2015 and 8 mln cbm in 2016. The Far East Basin - 0.16 mln cbm in 2015 and 0.1 mln cbm in 2016.

    Meanwhile, Chairman of Hydromec Group’s BoD Daniil Garbuz told the Forum that Russian shipbuilding is extremely dependent on foreign components the share of which was 55% in 2014 (according to the data provided by the Ministry of Industry and Trade). Only five shipyards in Russia build dredgers today: Zavod Hydromekhanizatsii, Chkalovsk Shipyard, Krasnoye Sormovo, ZNT Yard and Tsimlyansk Marine Engineering Plant. However, only Zavod Hydromekhanizatsii can build all types of dredgers.

    Nevertheless, Russia has a scientific potential in this sphere. According to Nikolai Arefyev, Representative of Volga State Academy of Water Transport, home-grown technologies in the sphere of hoppers are quite promising.

    To summarize, we can say that Russia is developing its own dredging industry through combining the efforts of foreign partners, domestic enterprises, scientific institutions and Transport Ministry, and it is quite promising considering the scope of port infrastructure development projects.

    Vitaly Chernov

    Photo release >>>>