Saudi Arabia’s Huta Marine Works will begin dredging the King Abdullah Economic City (Kaec) sea port using probably the world’s largest cutter suction dredger in June this year.

Huta is working on the project as a subcontractor to the local Port Development Company, which is joint venture created by the port’s two developers Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) and local developer Emaar, The Economic City. 

The estimated SR500m ($133m) dredger, named Al-Sakab, is currently undergoing routine preparation and maintenance in the Dhahran shipyards before joining the Huta fleet.

Huta commissioned the Netherlands’ IHC Merwede to design, build and deliver the 16,500  kW stationary dredger in 2007.

“The addition of Al-Sakab puts Huta well ahead of other dredging companies in the region,” said a source from Huta Marine. “It also demonstrates Huta’s commitment to King Abdullah Economic City and to establishing its place as one of the world’s top marine contractors.”

A cutter suction dredger uses a cutting device to delve deep into the soil, loosen it and extract it through large centrifugal pumps. The craft remains stationary through the use of large anchors and extended poles. The pumps then transport the dredged soil, as a slurry mixture, through a pipeline to the dumping site or to be discharged into barges.

Al-Sakab’s cutter suction dredger arm can excavate solid coral, limestone and bedrock to a depth of 25 metres from the surface and deposit it up to five kilometres away. Its excavation depth allows it to dredge a passageway more than adequate to receive the industry’s largest super-carriers. 

Al-Sakab is 124.5 metres long and 20 metres wide and can remove in excess of 20,000 cubic-metres of slurry per day. It can accommodate a crew of 28 people and is equipped with desalination and waste disposal facilities.