The Victorian Labor Government has secured the future of Gippsland Lakes with construction starting on Gippsland Ports’ new dredge.
Minister for Ports Luke Donnellan said “The new dredge will ensure ocean access at Lakes Entrance is maintained for the region’s commercial fishing and tourism industries, which contribute significantly to the local economy, and for recreational boating and fishing enthusiasts.
Dutch company Damen was selected to build the new Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge through a comprehensive international procurement and evaluation process.
The private company is based in Gorinchem in the Netherlands and operates globally, with numerous joint venture and partner shipyards throughout the world. The dredge is being built in Damen’s Yichang Shipyard in Hubei province, China.
It will replace the Pelican, a 35-year-old dredge contracted from New Zealand for the past eight years that will be retired in November.
The 60-metre dredge will service the largest ocean access port in this region and support Victoria’s biggest commercial fishing fleet. It is expected to be operating by late 2017.
“This is a major investment for Gippsland and the Andrews Labor Government is ensuring the future of the port by providing ocean access and reduce the risk of flooding for at least another 30 years.” Minister Luke Donnellan added
Gippsland Ports will operate the new dredge as it did with the April Hamer side-casting dredge for 34 years before its retirement in 2009.
Gippsland Ports Chair, Geoff Hocking added, “We can’t control when sand is going to be delivered into the system and navigability might be compromised, so having our own dredge available all year ensures we are fully prepared.”
Pictured: A Damen built Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge, the 'Meotida' operating in the Ukraine
News article reprinted from: ShipMate