Photo: Van Oord

Maintaining Brazilian ports with water injection dredgers

Van Oord is a global leader in water injection dredging – a technique that removes sediment using natural processes, maintaining the depth of navigation channels, ports and rivers in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.

With exceptional manoeuvrability, a water injection dredger can work in very close proximity to embankments and quay walls.

Van Oord applies this dredging method for more than 20 years in a wide range of Brazilian ports, ensuring the maintenance of its access channels with the least possible environmental impact.

Van Oord photo

“Water injection dredging is the key to our success in the port of Itajaí, Santa Catarina, and in Alumar’s port in Maranhão, São Luiz, which is known as one of the largest industrial complexes for the production of alumina in the world,” said Van Oord.

How does it work?

Water injection dredging is highly effective in recently deposited fine sediments that consist of fine sand, silt and clay particles.

This unique dredging method injects water into the subsoil and fluidizes the fine sediments creating a density current.

According to Van Oord, this density current moves under the influence of natural forces away from the dredged area and takes the sediment particles with it, either to deeper areas at sea or to high energy environments where the sediment is brought back into the water column, where it becomes part of the natural system of erosion, transportation and deposition of sediments.