The world’s biggest backhoe dredger set afloat

Blue Water’s experts assisted with the float-off of dredger for the Fehmarn Belt project

Friday morning, an exceptional operation was carried out in the Aabenraa Inlet. In a planned operation, a large semi-submersible freighter slowly submerged to prepare for the float-off of “Magnor”, the world’s biggest backhoe dredger.

The purpose-built freighter is constructed for this specific type of assignment and is able to carry vessels that are unable to manoeuvre under their own power. For performing the float-off operation, the semi-submersible vessel ballasted to submerge its central section so the dredger could float off.

The operation started Thursday afternoon, and Friday at 11.30 a.m. the semi-submersible vessel was sufficiently submerged to enable tugboats to pull “Magnor” off the vessel. In addition, the freighter carried two tugs and two barges for the Fehmarn project. They were also discharged in the same operation.

Another job completed for Femern Belt Contractors

Due to the company’s long experience, Blue Water was entrusted with the float-off of the gigantic dredger. ”Magnor” is 72 metres long, can easily lift a 20 foot container and up to 67 tons of material per grab.

”It was a spectacular operation, which we had prepared for a long time together with Femern Belt Contractors (FBC) and looked forward to. It was a clear day, and everything proceeded as planned. This kind of challenge is for sure not an everyday event, and we are of course pleased to contribute to the Fehmarn Belt Tunnel construction”, says Klaus Odby, Manager Port Agency, Blue Water.

Blue Water has been involved in the Fehmarn Belt project from the very beginning providing local warehouse solutions and port services. Earlier this year, we signed a service agreement with FBC covering port agency and crew change services, documentation and reporting to the authorities.

To shipping lines operating vessels on the project we naturally offer husbandry services, which are flexible services provided in port as well as offshore. In this way both vessel and crew save time and costs. Blue Water has also opened an office in Rodby to ensure local presence.

A dredger with energy optimising power

The dredger has an exceptionally energy-efficient engine using less fuel and emitting less CO2. With a dredging capacity of up to 22 metres, it will be operating in both Danish and German waters.

With assistance from ”Magnor”, the 18-kilometre channel is expected to be completed in 2023. The excavated material from the channel will be moved on barges to the south coast of Lolland to be reused for land reclamation and new natural resorts east and west of Rodbyhavn – as well as a minor land reclamation on the German island of Fehmarn.

The first tunnel element is expected to be submerged into position in 2024, and the Fehmarn Tunnel will be inaugurated in 2029 provided everything proceeds according to plan.

Read: Service agreement signed with Fehmarn Belt Contractors

Read: Part of the Fehmarn Belt project