The General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD) in Egypt took delivery and received training in the operation of two 10-inch Wolverine Class Dredges designed and manufactured by DSC Dredge at its Greenbush Michigan facility.
The GAFRD is responsible for Egypt’s fisheries management and will use the Wolverine dredges to improve the water quality of three wetland lakes in the Nile Delta and a saline lagoon in Sinai. Lakes Al Burullus Al Manzalah and Al Edku are economically important to the country supporting a large fishery and fish farming sector. The dredges will help maintain water passages and channels by removing silt pollutants and sedimentation allowing more seawater to flow into the different areas of the lakes to improve water quality and increase nutrition.
In addition to the two Wolverine dredges the organization’s fleet also includes four cutter suction dredges manufactured in Europe and 36 amphibious excavators. This is the first time the GAFRD has partnered with a U.S. manufacturer.
When people think of Egypt three things typically come to mind. It is an ancient civilization; it is a nation covered mostly by arid land; and it is home to the Nile River and Suez Canal. What many don’t realize is that the northern coastal area of Egypt stretching from Alexandria to Port Said and beyond comprises a network of large shallow lakes that sustain a vast array of wildlife habitat and support a fishing industry dominated by family groups that use traditional hand- or sail-powered vessels.
Unfortunately over the years these lakes have become inundated with silt from construction runoff and they have deteriorated further due to lack of proper channel flow natural vegetation decay and the effects of man-induced drainage. Additionally the lakes have been overrun with reed growth which further chokes the lakes’ ecological balance essentially turning the lakes into bogs. These conditions render the lake system unsustainable for the fishing industry that depends so heavily on their bounty.
In order to restore the water system’s natural habitat and reinvigorate a dwindling fishing industry the GAFRD chose to purchase two of DSC’s 68-foot-long Wolverine Class cutter suction dredges. The Wolverine is powered by a 440-horsepower Caterpillar C13 ACERT diesel engine. The Wolverine Class can dredge up to 25 feet and offers a 10-inch discharge configuration which allows particle clearance of up to six inches. The cutterhead designed with six cast-steel smooth blades is attached to a variable-speed reversible hydraulic cutter motor manufactured by Kawasaki. The dredge pump a J30 Metso Minerals/Thomas Simplicity series is rated for 200 feet of total discharge head at 4200 gallons per minute. Five hydraulic winches rated with a 4500-pound line pull capacity are used to swing the dredge lift the spuds and lift the ladder.
The dredges are operating in Lakes Al Burullus (in Kafr ELSheikh) near Alexandria and Al Manzalah near Port Said.
The DSC dredge purchases were the direct result of a chance meeting in 2011 between DSC’s International Sales Director Charlie Sinunu and Abdelwahab Abdelkafy chairman and CEO of the United Group for Engineering and Investment S.A.E. (UGEI) a consulting group with great experience in dredging.