A major project that has been years in the planning and months in the undertaking, has been completed at UK’s Portland Port.
The port’s main berths, outer coaling pier (OCP) and the outer arm of queens pier (Q Pier), have undergone a dredging programme to enhance their capacities.
The increased water depth at these berths will be advantageous for all business areas at Portland Port, including cruise ships upon their return.
Portland Harbour’s dredging requirements are not on a regular basis, primarily due to the lack of riverine input into the harbour, its substantial depth, limited wave action, and the very low currents and tidal streams.
When OCP and Q piers were first built, the draft and size of vessels meant a berth depth of 9 m was more than adequate, however with growing demands and the increasing size of vessels, cruise ships in particular, these depths were becoming an ever increasing restriction, so the decision was made to increase the depth to 11 m (below Admiralty Chart Datum), at the berths and in their manoeuvring and approach areas.
Detailed planning was required for the dredging programme to ensure that the stability and structural capacity of the berths was not undermined during the process.
The port engaged specialist companies to design the dredging requirements, plan and carry out the operation. Quest Marine, a local company, undertook the initial dredging works on OCP. Herbosch-Kiere, undertook the dredging on the outer arm of Q pier and completed the dredging at OCP, as this required specialist equipment
The material removed during the dredging process was relocated to two locations; one area within the commercial port area, which was part of the port’s expansion plan; the other to a licensed area of deeper water within the inner harbour.