The $312m Christobal Colon is approximately 50 per cent larger than any other dredger and is 223 metres long, with a capacity of 46,000 cubic metres of material – the same as 2,500 trucks standing bumper-to-bumper along 60 kilometres of highway.

The ship will first work on the Dubai Waterfront project where Jan De Nul was awarded the $1-1.5bn dredging and reclamation works in July 2006.

The contract covers the dredging of 360 million cubic metres of sand and the placing of 12 cubic million tonnes of rock covering an area of 2,300 hectares over a six-year period (MEED 14:7:06).