South Australia based marine contractor Maritime Constructions has used its long relationship with UPG (Ultimate Positioning Group) to get the absolute best out of a new dredge on a recent capital dredging project.
Maritime Constructions (MC) is a family owned company and has been a client of UPG since the late 1990s. In fact, UPG’s marine and dredging specialist Dene Oehme, was the Maritime Constructions surveyor for eight years and since joining UPG, he’s helped MC with various positioning solutions. In June, 2018 they approached Dene with a challenge: They had won a big capital works dredging contract and had ordered a new dredge for the job. They wanted Dene to source and commission the ‘latest and best’ in dredge management and navigation from Trimble.
The cutter suction dredge is a Damen CSD500 from The Netherlands. By default, these machines come with a navigation system included but MC considered and rejected this option. Instead they specifically wanted to go with Trimble due to the local support they knew they would get from UPG Adelaide.
“I discussed requirements with the project manager, Sikko Krol (formerly with Boskalis Dredging from The Netherlands) and we settled on a system that was so new in the Trimble product line-up that at the time, there hadn’t been another such system installed on any Australian dredge,” Dene said.
The system consists of:
On the Dredge:
Trimble Marine Construction software
Trimble MPS865 GNSS
Trimble Cutter Suction Dredge, CAN based sensor kit
Positel linear sensor for “spud” position data
RTK Base Station:
Trimble SPS855 with all GNSS constellations enabled
Trimble TDL450h base radio
Trimble Zephyr 3 Base antenna
Trimble SPS986 GNSS rover
Sonarmite BTX single beam Hydrographic Survey system.
The project involved the removal of nearly 1 million cubic metres of material from tidal Beedon Creek at Onslow, Western Australia, and dredging of the sea-floor leading into the creek to create a 50m-wide shipping channel. This established a deep-water port which will operate as a marine support base for local fishing, mining and tourism.
Once the dredge was delivered to Australia, Dene met the crew on-site to install, commission and calibrate the Trimble Dredge Management System.
“I trained the dredge crew in its operation and their new surveyor on basic Hydrographic Surveying techniques as they apply to dredge support,” he said.
“Having worked in that role at Maritime Constructions for eight years myself, I knew exactly what they expected and this allowed me to give specific instruction to their surveyor on the ‘MC way’ of doing things and what they would expect of him.
“I had planned to return to the site after a few weeks to fix any problems and fine tune the system. I contacted Sikko several times soon after works commenced to ask when he would like me to visit but each time I wasn’t needed. The whole system was working perfectly and performing as required and expected from day one.
“The on-site training gave the crews the knowledge to do their system checks and calibrations when required and to extract the daily log and volume data to satisfy the clients reporting requirements.”
“It’s also worth mentioning that environmental management, close consultation with community and stakeholders plus the flexibility to modify the project on the run to meet desired outcomes are all vital factors in modern dredging,” Dene said.
“This project was no different and it is a credit to Sikko and the wider Maritime Constructions management team that these concerns have been met efficiently and thoroughly to the benefit of all involved. Part of that was having absolute confidence in the position of the cutter head at all times and the Trimble Dredge Management System, based around the Trimble Marine Construction software, provides this certainty.”
Based on the success of this system and the project outcomes overall, Maritime Constructions have begun planning further enhancements to their fleet’s capabilities with Trimble technology. The company has five dredges, three large ‘dumb’ barges and several other large work boats and landing barges.
“UPG Adelaide looks forward to being involved as these developments arise and take pride in the gains in efficiency and accuracy we have been able to provide Maritime Constructions to date,” Dene said.