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Marine Dredging Technology Is Changing

Marine Dredging Technology Is Changing
September 23
11:09 2017

Port Fantasy marina, situated in the integrated tourism resort development in Wailoaloa, Nadi is designed as two areas, each operating separately from the other.

There is one island dedicated to handling physical tourism and a totally separated island for industrial and freight activity.

A number of lots of different sizes were created so that different industries in the marine services segment could find something that suited them.

The majority of industrial lots are sold and companies are starting to develop them.

 

Industrial area location

The location of the industrial area, at the end of the main entrance channel and deep inside the cyclone proof harbour with mangroves acting as the perfect windbreak, Port Fantasy provides easy access to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island Groups.

The largest lot in the industrial marina was purchased by Hall Pacific just over five years ago and was planned as the Pacific headquarters for Hall Dredging, one of the largest marine construction and dredging operations in the region.

Hall’s head office is in Australia, but because of the amount of work they are involved in around the South Pacific, they believed that the time was right to establish a greater presence locally. Fiji had been showing amazing growth for several years and Hall’s were confident that the growth in the economy, particularly the marine segment, would continue.

The company has a range of construction plant and equipment based at the industrial site including the Cutter Suction Dredge “Kikilu”, a fleet of tricks, excavators of various sizes, loaders, a transport barge and a fully fitted accommodation barge.

They have also built offices, maintenance workshop and storage facilities.

Hall Dredging has a long history of operations in Fiji and with the purchase of three acres in the industrial section at Port Fantasy Marina in Wailoaloa, Nadi as their operations centre in Fiji, they established permanent residency in the country.

From this base they carry out operations both in Fiji and throughout the South Pacific.

 

What is dredging?

Dredging is excavation that is carried out underwater, in shallow seas or freshwater rivers and lagoons to gather up sand and sediment.

Dredging is used to keep waterways navigable.

Hall Pacific has also undertaken dredging to help lessen the effects of flooding in Fiji’s Ba and Nadi Rivers.

They have also used dredging as part of coastal protection works in places such as Tavalu.

These construction works are done to make coastlines more resilient tom the changes the Pacific is experiencing through climate change.

It is an important part of the efforts to ensure the economy is sustained and making the places where people live safer by protecting them from the effects of big weather events and cyclones.

After spending the last eight months on a very large reclamation project in Tuvalu, some additional equipment arrived into Port Fantasy after a seven and a half day voyage from Vanuatu.

The fleet consisted of a 79 metre state of the art dredge called Amity, the largest ever to be available for work in Fiji, Kooringal, a large workboat and the ocean going tug, Katea.

 

The plan

The plan is for the equipment to undergo repair and refurbishment in the Port Fantasy operations centre and then to carry out dredging work here.

The Hall Dredging representative here, appropriately called Swampy, is well known in the Fijian marine construction industry.

He said: “It is exciting to see one of our largest dredges head back to our base in Port Fantasy, Fiji.

“With a vessel the size of Amity and the state of the art equipment it is fitted with there is no job we cannot undertake.

“It can handle very large volumes of material day in and day out, which means we can complete projects significantly faster and with less impact on the surrounding areas.”

Managing director, Cameron Hall, said: “The CSD Amity will be based in Port Fantasy until its next project. We are passionate about our work, especially when we know we are building resilience to climate change in Fiji and the Pacific.”

Halls have prepared the operations centre and the different vessels in the Fiji based fleet to supplement the equipment available so that they have the right gear for every job.

 

The climate change factor

With the growing awareness of the impacts of climate change now being seen right through the South Pacific Hall believes that there will be a large increase in mitigation projects and that they are now better equipped to answer the challenge.

Hall has decided, in line with what many other companies are planning , is that to take full advantage of the way the Fijian economy is developing, the time has come for the latest technology in use overseas needs to be introduced to the market.

The introduction of the new dredge will allow for the company to handle larger projects faster and with better and more accurate results.

That can only be good for Fiji.

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