Egypt-based Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has entered a deal with Royal IHC for the design and construction of two new heavy-duty rock cutter suction dredgers (CSDs).
Each custom-built CSD is set to feature a capacity of 29,190kW. The 147.4m-long vessels will also be designed to provide a maximum dredging depth of 35m.
Additionally, the CSDs will be equipped with one submerged and two inboard dredging pumps, as well as possess an installed cutting power of 4,800kW.
The vessels will be able to house 73 people each and will be developed in partnership with SCA.
They are expected to be deployed to maintain and improve the artificial sea-level area that connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas.
SCA's new vessels are set to be built in the Netherlands and are due to be delivered by 2020.
SCA chairman and managing director Mohab Mameesh said: “Signing this contract is of great importance for SCA. It is a serious step towards upgrading our fleet of dredgers, and means that we will have the world’s largest CSDs in terms of dimensions and total power.
“The new state-of-the-art CSDs from Royal IHC will enable SCA to participate in deepening and widening the waterway and help realise the Egyptian plan to develop local ports.”
A new standardised IHC Beaver 45 CSD will also be built by Royal IHC at SCA’s shipyard in Egypt as part of the deal.
The construction of the vessel is expected to improve the local CSD manufacturing capacity in Egypt.
In addition, the deal will see Royal IHC offer training, a CSD simulator and a package of spare parts to SCA.
Image: Rendering of SCA’s new cutter suction dredgers. Photo: courtesy of IHC Merwede Holding B.V.