To ensure the safe passage of vessels from the North Sea to all of the harbours along the River Elbe, especially the Port of Hamburg, the navigational channel and the tributaries have to be maintained to a certain depth. The channel is 116 km long and extends from the North Sea to Hamburg.
The River Elbe is divided into 17 dredging sections and dredging is separated into two lots: the navigational channel (Lot 1) and its tributaries (Lot 2). This represents 8,800 dredging hours and 11,500 sailing kilometres. The dredging depth varies between 3.50 m and 15.80 m LAT(lowest astronomical tide) with a dredging tolerance of - 0.50 m.
DEME was awarded the maintenance contract in a joint venture between July 2018 and June 2019.