• 2021 March 9

    Deep dredging

    In 2020, FSUE Rosmorport fulfilled its maintenance dredging plan having ensured the navigation parameters in water areas and at the approaches to 49 facilities in 22 seaports of Russia.

    According to operational data of FSUE Rosmorport, the scope of dredging performed in Arkhangelsk, Big Port St. Petersburg, Ust-Luga, Kaliningrad, Rostov-on-Don, Azov, Taganrog, Yeisk, Temryuk, Kavkaz, Taman ,Novorossiysk, Tuapse, Astrakhan, Olya, Makhachkala and Shakhtersk totaled 7.8 million cbm.

    Rosmorport involved both its own fleet (17 dredgers and 8 units of auxiliary fleet) and contractors’ vessels (4 dredgers). The share of works accomplished by the company’s own dredging facilities is growing. This year, it rose to 90%.

    We will elaborate on the most ambitious dredging projects.


    Amid the negative trends including lowering of the Caspian Sea level, intense sediment accumulation caused by floods, storms and up/down surges on the Volga-Caspian Sea Shipping Canal (VCSSC), it is necessary to increase the scope of annual dredging to ensure a 5.1-meter depth for a safe navigation on the canal. In 2019, Arkhangelsk branch of FSUE Rosmorport dredged over 2.8 million cbm of material with about 3.9 million cbm planned for dredging in 2020.

    Maintenance dredging at the VCSSC is conducted by the company’s own dredgers, Peotr Sablin, Artemy Volynsky, Ivan Cheremisinov and Urengoy, as well as by other companies’ ships such as the Baltiyskaya dredging convoy.

    To reduce sediment accumulation at the VCSSC and to cut dredging expenses, Rosmorport is set to build protection facilities starting from 2021.

    Besides, the company’s Astrakhan branch acquired and put into operation a state-of-the-art hydrographic equipment allowing for facilitation of the monitoring for a prompt debottlenecking of the silted areas, especially after the seasonal floods.

    Bechevinskaya Bay

    Among the largest projects on capital dredging in Russian seaports is the construction of NOVATEK’s  LNG terminal in the Bechevinskaya Bay of the Kamchatka Territory. The project is included in the Comprehensive Plan for Modernization and Expansion of Core Infrastructure (CPMI) till 2024. The canal is to be 6.6 kilometers long, 275 meters wide and 16.1–17.2 meters deep. Dredging works on the canal are needed due to its insufficient depth (up to 3 meters) and silt accumulation. Novatek-Kamchatka LLC and FSUE Rosmorport (in the part of federal property) are the main participants in the investment project to create an offshore facility for transshipment of liquefied natural gas in the Kamchatka Territory. Designed capacity is 21 million tonnes of LNG per year.

    Subsea dumping of the dredged material is planned in the northern part of the bay with the seabed level of over 45 meters.

    By March 2021, Rosmorport had adjusted the design documentation for dredging works under the project had obtained the approval of Glavgosexpertiza.

    The company is currently preparing for signing the state contract with the contractor to be selected through a competition.


    The scope of dredging works in the Bechevinskaya Bay is estimated at 16.5 million cbm


    The first tender held in August 2020 was declared void. With the initial (maximum) contract price  of about RUB 11 billion, the only bidder, Van Oord, suggested implementation of the contract for almost RUB 20 billion.

    Rosmorport earlier said that dredging works commenced from 1 July 2021 could be completed by the end of December 2021, or definitely by the end of February 2022.

    The project on construction of an LNG handling facility in the Bechevinskaya Bay foresees installation of an anchored storage unit and the development of coastal infrastructure. The first turn of the project is to be launched in 2022, the second one – in 2023.

    Port Sabetta

    In 2020, extensive dredging works were conducted in the Gulf of Ob under the project on reconstruction of the access canal to Sabetta port in view of the Utrenny terminal construction. The scope of dredging exceeded 32 million cbm. The works were accomplished over 79 days of the ice-free navigation period.

    The reconstruction project is to be implemented in two phases. The first one (2020-2021) foresees dredging and the expansion of the canal from 295 to 475 meters at its straight section and from 278 to 573 meters at the turn. The canal will be extended from 48.9 kilometers to 51.6 kilometers with the depth to reach 15.1 meters (BSL 1977).

    The scope of dredging works in Sabetta to make about 59.8 million cmb over three years


    The customer of the Seaway Canal project is FSUE Hydrographic Company (a structure of State Corporation Rosatom) with Mordraga LLC being the only contractor. More than 1,000 crewmembers and other personnel will be involved in the project implementation.

    The calculations of navigation capacity showed that if the current configuration of the Sea Channel remains, the maximum number of vessels, up to four a day, will be reached already in 2023.

    “Upon completion of the works, it will be possible for Yamalmax vessels with a length of 299 meters and a deadweight of 80,000 tonnes to sail in the canal; also, special pockets will be created to ensure the possibility of transportation of gravity-based platforms for the creation of a gas liquefaction plant of the Arctic LNG 2 project. In the future, until 2030, up to nine vessels will be able to sail through the channel per day”, said Yury Mikhov, General Director of FSUE Hydrographic Company.

    Most of dredging works in the Gulf of Ob will be accomplished by Hydrographic Company in 2021 under its three-year long contracts, said Aleksandr Bengert appointed as General Director of Hydrographic Company from 20 February 2021.

    “32.5 million cbm of material has been dredged already with the remaining works to be completed in 2021 and 2022 in approximately equal shares”, said Aleksandr Bengert.

    He also told about another project in Sabetta, the Utrenny terminal: “We continue works on reconstruction of the Utrenny terminal’s water area, it is the third phase of works under the project document. The General Contractor, MRTS, is entitled to attract subcontractors for those works”.

    Aleksandr Bengert does not name the subcontractor for works in the navigation season of 2021.

    “Last year it was Van Oord attracted by MRTS as a subcontractor. In 2020, MRTS also involved its own fleet in some operations”, added the head of Hydrographic Company.

    When speaking about the maintenance dredging in Sabetta, Aleksandr Bengert reminded about another three-year contract – maintenance dredging at the facilities already put into operation.

    “MRTS was selected as the contractor because it could bid the best price being involved in capital construction of similar facilities. It ensures the company’s quite efficient management of expenses for its fleet mobilization. So, they are effective from the market point of view”.

    Under this project, Hydrographic Company is set to dredge at least 1 million cbm of material this year.

    Besides, the company's plans include the completion of reconstruction works in the water area of Yamal LNG terminal in Sabetta port. It is the water area of auxiliary berths. The scope of dredging is estimated at some 300,000 cbm.

    “It is not very large but is it technologically sophisticated”, added Aleksandr Bengert.

    Muchka Bay

    One more ambitious project of capital dredging is in the framework of building a coal handling facility in the Muchke Bay in the Khabarovsk Territory. It was initiated by VaninoTransUgol (a company of the Kolmar GC) for exports of high quality coking coals mined in the South Yakutia.

    The first phase of the project was completed in autumn 2020. Under that phase, FSUE Rosmorport dredged about 900,000 tonnes of material ensuring the facility’s annual capacity of 12 million tonnes. The fleet of Van Oord was involved in the works.

    The second phase foresees the expansion to 24 million tonnes by 2023. When fully operational, the facility will be among the largest coal terminals in Russia.

    Under the investment agreement with VaninoTransUgol, Rosmorport suppordinate to the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency will build federally owned facilities including the development of the future terminal’s water area ensuring safe approaching and mooring of large ships with loaded draft from 15.4 meters (at Berth No1) to 17.1 meters (at Berth No2). Total investments into the project are estimated at RUB 45.33 billion including RUB 1.35 billion to be invested into the federally owned facilities.


    In December 202, Glavgosexpertiza of Russia approved the design documentation and findings of the engineering survey under the project on creation of safe conditions for vessels approaching the berths of Novoroslesexport (NLE JSC, a company of NCSP Group). The project foresees the reconstruction of the port’s water area in the interest of Novoroslesexport whose timber and container terminal are located in the territory of the complex.

    The works will be implemented in two phases. The first one will include the reconstruction of the entrance and the turning areas, the internal navigable pass to the Lesnoy pier and the Berth No 5 of Novoroslesexport as well as the dredging to the depth of 13.9 meters.

    Thus, it will be sufficient for vessels of up to 300 meters in length and 48 meters in width (at berths NoNo 29, 30); vessels of up to 230 meters in length and up to 32.2 meters in width (at berths NoNo 28 and 28А); vessels of up to 225 meters in length and up to 32.2 meters in width (at berth NoNo 2, 3 and 4).

    The second phase will take into consideration the development of the port of Novorossiysk. It will include dredging of the operational water area to minus 10.2 meters at the approaches to Berth No 5 sufficient for vessels of up to 169.6 meters in length and up to 28 meters in width. The dredging works will only be conducted in case of reconstruction foreseen under a separate project of Novoroslesexport.

    The project documentation for the reconstruction works has been developed by Marine Construction and Technologies LLC under the order of Novoroslesexport JSC.


    By Vitaly Chernov 


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