Dredging and land reclamation are more than just our core activities. They are at the very foundation of our company. We are involved in dredging and land reclamation projects worldwide, offering customers innovative solutions for even the most complex projects and challenging environments.

We operate the most technologically advanced fleet, including the world’s first dual fuel dredging vessels. Over the past few decades, we have executed major marine engineering infrastructure works such as the development of new ports, waterways, airports, artificial islands, residential and recreational areas, industrial areas, roads and bridges, on all continents.

Maintenance dredging

A deep understanding of the dynamics of estuaries and rivers

Successful maintenance dredging requires decades of experience and expert knowledge about the dynamics of rivers and estuaries. Sedimentation and siltation are a continual natural threat to navigation and the accessibility of ports.

We seek to minimise the environmental impact of any maintenance dredging project and always carry out our activities in respect of the environment, reducing overflow and limiting turbidity. Our smart dredging techniques support the natural processes and use the river’s dynamics to maintain accessibility.

We have performed maintenance projects along many of the world’s major rivers, making sure these vital arteries function as efficiently as possible. As well as working on access channels and inland waterways, we are also busy within ports and harbours, maintaining docks, turning basins and mooring berths.

Coastal protection

Experts in coastal protection methods

The world’s population is expected to increase by 2 billion persons in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion currently to a staggering 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the United Nations and coupled with that, half of the global population lives within 200 km of the sea.
As coastal areas become increasingly densely populated, coastal erosion protection and flood defence measures become even more crucial. And as climate change leads to a rise in sea levels and the melting of the ice caps, this global challenge is only made more acute.

DEME has the knowledge and experience needed to assist with this global issue. We are experts in a wide range of coastal protection methods such as the construction of hard sea defences such as sea walls, dykes, breakwaters; underwater bunds; fixed piers or open-piled jetties; sand traps such as groynes; coastal armouring with revetments, gabions, accropodes, as well as soft engineering solutions including sand dune stabilisation and beach nourishment.

Port construction

Decades of experience in designing, engineering and constructing the world’s ports

In light of the global population increase, consequent demand for energy, and the exponential growth in world trade, ports worldwide are both expanding in numbers and extending. In recent years the maritime industry has seen the arrival of the ultra large container vessel. This new era has even led to giants carrying more than 23,500 TEU and this means ports have to adapt to serve these mammoth container ships.

DEME has many long-term relationships with port and harbour authorities in all corners of the globe. We aim to be a trusted partner and assist them with their planning and preparations, whether this involves an entirely new port or the extension of an existing facility.

DEME has decades of experience in port construction, from the initial feasibility study, soil investigation studies and environmental assessments through to the construction of dykes, breakwaters, quay walls and jetties.

Dredging guarantees sufficient depth and width in the access channel, turning basins and docks, and we always aim to maximise the possibilities for the reuse of sand and sediment. We work with our customers to ensure that the dredged material can be used to reclaim new land for example, which in turn minimises the environmental footprint of any port construction project.

As a leading port construction company, we pride ourselves on being able to offer integrated, sustainable solutions.

Capital dredging

The ever increasing scale of large bulk carriers, tankers and container ships, and the continuous growth in world trade has made capital dredging an absolute necessity in recent years. New ports need to be created, and access channels, berths, docks, and turning basins have to be deepened and widened in order to meet the needs of the global economy.

DEME always performs capital dredging with a view to it being a sustainable, long-term development. Often projects are executed in sensitive estuaries so respecting the natural environment and biodiversity is crucial. Our ongoing fleet investment programme means we are continually looking at ways in which we can improve our dredging vessels - to limit turbidity, reduce overflow and ultimately, increase productivity.

Beach nourishment

Advantages of beach nourishment

Beach nourishment and coastal replenishment are soft alternatives to hard coastal defences such as flood barriers, groynes and dykes. Essentially, beach nourishment protects against flooding and erosion by dissipating wave energy. We aim to work with nature to provide innovative solutions to ensure that the natural ecosystem remains in balance.

In light of our focus on sustainable, nature-based techniques, DEME is involved in a project for example to test whether biogenic reefs (shellfish, marine flora, sand mason worm reefs) have the capacity to reduce erosion and even storm waves. This project recognises the increasing need for coastal flood defences as sea levels rise due to the impact of global warming.

Additionally, when beach nourishment or near-shore replenishments projects are underway, we also make sure we limit the disruption to the natural environment as much as possible by taking breeding seasons into account.

Breakwaters and dams

Our marine engineering experts have decades of experience carrying out coastal defence protection and port construction. This includes everything from designing and constructing breakwaters, dams, dykes and flood barriers to protect coastal communities to others, where we build quay walls and harbour dams for port construction and extension projects.

Land reclamation

Creating new land sustainably

DEME is a renowned global player when it comes to land reclamation. Reclamation creates land for the future - new industrial sites, commercial and residential areas, ports, airports, recreational or nature habitats and artificial islands.

We take a great deal of pride in playing a role in the creation of new land and we always do so with an eye on the sustainability of any land reclamation project. For example, material from capital dredging projects can be used in major land reclamation projects, which limits the ecological impact.

For more than 100 years we have also been active in dredging, transporting and the processing of marine sand and aggregates for the European construction industry, with a dedicated fleet of specialist dredgers and several processing facilities.

Additionally, DEME has long-term, sand and aggregate concessions, spanning an area from northern Germany to the UK Continental Shelf to the French Continental Shelf.

We are also experts in sand and sediment improvement and compacting techniques, making sure that the land reclamation process or restoration project is carried out sustainably and cost effectively.

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