DEME widens Kiel Canal

Deepening of Elbe River to process the 'Fahrrinnenanpassung Bundesstrecke Lot 2'. Credit: DEME

Belgian-based dredging group DEME has been awarded a contract as part of a joint venture to widen a 4 km stretch of Kiel Canal in Germany. Work started in January 2020 and will run until the end of 2023.

The Kiel Canal is a long, freshwater canal extending eastward for 98 km and runs from the mouth of Elbe River to the Baltic Sea at Kiel, Germany. The canal constitutes the safest, most convenient, shortest, and cheapest shipping route between the two seas.

The eastern part of Kiel Canal will be expanded from 44 m to a future minimum bottom width of 70 m, so that larger ships can cross safely in this area. The widening will significantly increase the efficiency of the waterway, which is important for international shipping.

Extensive landscaping measures will be carried out as part of the expansion of the canal cross-section. In total, about 2 million m3 of soil are to be moved, about 58,000 m² of revetments are to be installed, and more than 1 million cubic metres of soil will be dredged and dumped.

Deme Group’s subsidiaries, Nordsee Nassbagger- und Tiefbau and Dredging International, will handle the marine dredging works as part of the JV.

The work was commissioned by the Federal Waterways & Shipping Administration, represented by WSA Kiel-Holtenau. The contract has a total value of approximately EUR99 million (USD109.3 million).

“Securing this contract underlines our local expertise – based on a combination of high tech, know-how, and many years of dedicated entrepreneurship. We are pleased to partner with our client and look forward to working closely with them and our joint venture partners to ensure the successful execution of this project,” said Laurent Closset, Area Director North Europe for DEME.