Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has signed a contract with Royal IHC for the design and construction of two custom-built 29190 kW heavy-duty rock cutter suction dredgers (CSDs).
The vessels will have an overall length of 147.4 meters (about 483 feet) and provide a maximum dredging depth of 35 meters (about 115 feet). Equipped with one submerged and two inboard dredge pumps the installed cutter power will be 4800 kW. The cutters will be built in The Netherlands and are scheduled for delivery in 2020. They will also offer accommodation facilities for 73 people.
A standardized IHC Beaver® 45 CSD will also be built by IHC at the Suez Canal Authority’s shipyard in Egypt with the aim of improving the local manufacturing capacity for this type of dredging equipment. Alongside the delivery of these three cutters to the Suez Canal Authority an extensive IHC training program will be provided which includes a cutter simulator and a large package of spare parts.
The Canal Authority issues and enforces the rules of navigation in the Suez Canal as well as overseeing other regulations that contribute to an effective waterway. These cutters have been designed in close cooperation with the Suez Canal Authority and will be used to maintain and improve the artificial sea-level area that connects the Mediterranean and Red seas. According to management at the canal authority these cutters represent a significant step toward upgrading its dredging fleet with the world’s largest cutters in terms of dimensions and total power. These new vessels should enable the canal authority to deepen and widen the waterway and to help Egypt realize its plan to develop local ports part of an important economic development program.