Dutch dredging company Boskalis has ordered a new diesel-electric trailing suction hopper dredger from shipbuilding company Royal IHC that will also be prepared for the use of green methanol in its dual-fuel engines.

The 31,000m³ capacity hopper vessel will be built at IHC’s Krimpen aan den Ijssel shipyard, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and is expected to enter service for Boskalis in the middle of 2026. 

The order is part of the company’s plan to make its dredging fleet more sustainable and has also been designed to have an optimised hull design and advanced automation system that will “significantly” lower its fuel consumption and make it more energy efficient. 

Additionally, the vessel will include a double suction pipe equipped with underwater pumps and two discharge pumps with a combined discharge capacity of 15,000 kW, making it suited to dredging material and discharging it over long distances to a reclamation site. 

The design of the vessel began in 2020 when Boskalis first reached an agreement with Royal IHC for the design and engineering of the ship. 

Theo Baartmans, board member for Boskalis, said: “We are delighted to have reached the final award after a careful process, thus perpetuating the close relationship between Boskalis and Royal IHC. 

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“Moreover, thanks to the innovative design and craftsmanship of Royal IHC and its partners, by building this megahopper we are taking an important step forward in future-proofing our fleet.” 

Boskalis’ new ship will join its fleet which is one of the largest dredging fleets in the world, supporting the company’s work on major projects across six continents such as the Duqm Port construction in Oman. 

Its selection of methanol as a future alternative fuel joins the growing number of maritime companies and shipowners preparing to use the fuel during the transitions to more sustainable shipping practices alongside other options such as LNG and hydrogen. 

The company has committed to becoming climate neutral across its operations by 2050, in line with the industry standard and previously said that the largest part of its CO₂ footprint could be attributed to its vessels with the use of alternatives highlighted as an area of potential substantial reductions. 

Earlier this year, two major maritime companies, CMA CGM and Maersk, formed a partnership to look into the use of LNG and bio/e-methanol fuels for their vessels.