To guarantee the safe passage of shipping traffic to the port of Hamburg it is necessary to maintain the navigational channel to a certain depth. The channel is 116 km long and extends from the North Sea to Hamburg.
In the years 2017 to 2019, Nordsee Nassbagger- und Tiefbau was awarded the maintenance contract in a joint venture with Van Oord Wasserbau.
The River Elbe is divided into 17 dredging sections. Dumping zones are allocated through dredge orders and are located outside of the navigational channel. The average sailing distance between the dredging area and the dumping zones is 35 km, with the longest sailing distance being 96 km. The dredging depth varies between 7.50 m and 15.80 m with a dredging tolerance of -0.50 m.
Two dredging assignments were planned for cleaning up the sand trap at Wedel due to environmental restrictions.
Furthermore, coordination with the since July 2019 simultaneous executed Elbe Deepening Project is required as dredge sections are transferred for deepening and need to be maintained at new design depth and new channel width after delivered back from the deepening project.