PD Ports invests £23 million in new dredging vessel

PD Ports invests £23 million in new dredging vessel

PD Ports has confirmed a £23 million ($29 million) investment in a new, state of the art dredging vessel.

The 71-metre long dredger, which has already been named the Emerald Duchess following a competition among PD Ports employees, will arrive at Teesport next summer.

The vessel was designed and built to strict specifications by famous Dutch shipbuilder Neptune, with the assistance of PD Ports’ technical specialists, to guarantee it can carry out its job on the Tees to the greatest environmental and safety requirements.

The Emerald Duchess is now being built at a shipyard in Poland for commissioning ahead of testing in the Netherlands in 2024.

It will replace the Cleveland County, which serviced the Tees for 50 years under PD Ports’ conservancy team.

READ: PD Ports adds weekly Europe service

The new vessel has been ‘future-proofed’ with a number of bespoke design features that will eventually allow carbon neutral operations.

Fitted with an innovative intelligent power management system, the Emerald Duchess can swap between power from a battery pack equivalent to 10 Tesla cars and fuel made from hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), also known as renewable diesel.

According to PD Ports, considerable modelling has taken conducted using computational fluid dynamics to build a hull that is as refined as possible when travelling through the water in order to decrease fuel use.

The Emerald Duchess project is said to be capable of transporting 2,500 tonnes and containing up to 2,000 cubic metres of dredged material, and it is a further step towards PD Ports’ goal of becoming Carbon Neutral by 2027.

READ: Australian investment firm considers £1 billion bid for UK’s PD Ports

Frans Calje, Chief Executive Officer of PD Ports, said: “The Emerald Duchess represents a major investment in our conservancy operations as SHA and shows our high level of commitment to the socio-economic development of the River Tees and the wider region.

“The vessel is a step ahead in terms of crew safety and sustainability and will strongly support our commitment to becoming a Carbon Neutral operation, using low emission fuel and an innovative layout to make it more fuel efficient.

“Every investment we make is targeted to keep our environmental impact to a minimum, while also supporting the growth and success of the region and the commercial operators who rely on the river. I look forward to the Duchess’ arrival on our shores next summer.”

Benjamin Grefkens, Director Neptune Marine, stated: “We are proud that PD Ports entrusted us with providing them with the tools for their dredging activities.”

“The battery and DC-bus system-based power management system is a further expansion of Neptune Marine’s innovative approach to future proof sustainable shipbuilding and operation.”

In March 2023, PD Ports announced a new long-term deal with worldwide logistics specialist, CLdN, to bring additional weekly sailings to Teesport.

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