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Technologies and equipment in the dredging market

The dredging equipment needs of the Indian dredging market have largely been met by foreign suppliers. Netherlands-based IHC Merwede is a leading supplier of dredging equipment in the country. The company has supplied over 100 dredgers to Indian dredging companies, both private and public. Over the years, IHC has undertaken several research and development activities to improve the operational efficiency of dredgers and dredging components. New designs have been introduced for components such as cutter heads, spud carriers, spud guards and pivoting gearboxes to reduce fuel consumption and enhance productivity. The operation cabin is now designed to increase the comfort of the dredge master which, in turn, results in higher output. A innovative dredging component, Spud GuardTM, has been introduced by IHC to dredge in challenging weather conditions. The company has also introduced a new dredger series, Easydredge® 2700, which has a flexible design and can dredge up to a depth of 25 metres.

Other dredger manufacturers are also developing new dredgers and components to increase their market share. Itlay-based Italdraghe Dredging and Pumping Solutions has developed an innovative dredging head that can be fitted on to any kind of hydraulic excavator to transform it into a small dredger. The dredging head is specifically designed for small projects such as those for dredging inland waterways, canals and rivers, beach nourishment and backfilling. Other benefits offered by this dredging solution include simple installation, low maintenance costs and one-man operation. Similarly, Netherlands-based Damen has designed a heavy-duty versatile dredge tool, the DOP® submersible dredge pump, which can be easily used for small dredging projects or for dredging through hard surfaces. The company has also launched a new range of higher capacity trailer suction hopper dredgers (TSHDs) that are suitable for specific soil types. Further, China-based Julong Dredger has designed a cutter suction dredger (CSD) with a mounted submersible pump that can dredge up to a depth of 25 metres.

Meanwhile, to improve the productivity of dredgers, India-based Abhitech Energycon has developed a fuel additive, Thermol-D, which is a multifunctional combustion catalyst for diesel. Among the benefits of Thermol-D is a reduction in diesel consumption (by 5-7 per cent), emissions and smoke, engine noise and maintenance costs.

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Besides developing new dredgers and dredging components, a number of dredger manufacturers have started providing life-cycle support services like component replacement, repair services, spare parts availability, maintenance management, etc. Manufacturers like IHC and Damen are also providing simulator training services for the operation and maintenance of dredgers. Some foreign dredger manufacturers are also exploring the possibility of setting up dredger building, component and spare part manufacturing, and repair facilities in India, under the Make in India initiative. w

Based on presentations by V. Arora, Managing Director, CosimaServ Ship & Offshore Services Private Limited; S. Kumar, Director, Abhitech Energycon; M. Parma, Senior Design Engineer, Italdraghe; B. Rijnders, Area Sales Manager,

India, Royal IHC;

René Sens,  Design & Proposal Engineer, Damen Dredging; G. Singh Ahluwalia, Associate Manager Dredging, APSEZL

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