The ‘Queen’ had been in dry dock in Singapore for six months for pre-planned mid-ship lengthening to 230 metres (previously 173 m), increasing its carrying capacity to 35,500 cubic metres, up from 23,300 cubic metres. The vessel is now one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced dredgers and the largest in the fleet of about 300 operated by international dredging company, Royal Boskalis Westminster.
Welcoming the vessel back, Stephen Bradford, CEO of the Port of Melbourne Corporation, said its greater capacity would be an enormous benefit to the project. “The vessel’s advanced level of efficiency will bolster our aim to have major dredging in the Bay completed by 31 August, before spring arrives. The vessel’s increased carrying capacity will aid fuel and time efficiencies for the project.”
The overall project, incorporating berth works, services protection and the construction of navigation aids is due to be completed by end of the year.
Emphasising the importance of the project to Victoria’s long-term economic future, Bradford said, “This project is a major public infrastructure development that is focused on jobs, industry and investment over the next 30 years. In these uncertain economic times, projects like Channel Deepening play a vital role in helping us to future-proof our economy”.