A world first – Sustainable beach replenishments in Belgium

World - Double first achieved with 100% sustainable beach replenishments in Belgium

Jan De Nul Group is the first dredging company to carry out 100% sustainable beach replenishments.

Moreover, this world first has taken place at the Belgian coast. From 1st February, Jan De Nul will deposit about 500,000 cubic metres of sand on the beach of Raversijde by order of the Agency for Maritime Services and Coast (MDK) of the Flemish Government. The equipment that Jan De Nul will use for these dredging and earthmoving works, meets the strictest sustainability standards.

The ambitious targets that Jan De Nul Group is achieving are thanks to a sustainable course that the dredging company has been following for some time[1]. During mid 2019 Jan De Nul Group contractually committed to reducing its annual CO₂ emissions by 15% during the maintenance dredging works in the coastal marina of Nieuwpoort, also commissioned by the MDK Agency. Never before has a dredging company achieved a CO₂ emission reduction of this magnitude in a commercial application on a project.

“The MDK Agency gives us another opportunity to show the industry that these ambitious targets are achievable. And we are quite proud of that,” says Bart Praet, Head of Dredging Benelux. “If you apply all the technological possibilities available today, you will have come a long way on the transition path to the 2030 targets. We hope that other governments will take note of this example and will do their utmost to ensure that tenders are awarded to companies offering sustainable solutions.”

Better air quality thanks to advanced biofuel and emission reduction of up to 90%

Jan De Nul Group is using sustainable fuel for the dredging works in Raversijde. During the works, the dredger Pedro Álvares Cabral will sail on 100% sustainable drop-in advanced biofuel. That is a sustainable replacement for fossil diesel, made from oils from plant waste and not from food crops. ‘Drop-in’ means that these engines do not need modification in order to be able to use this biofuel.

This sustainable variant not only reduces CO₂ emissions, but also releases significantly less particulate matter into the air. The combustion is much more efficient than the combustion of conventional diesel. Because drop-in biofuel uses waste flows as resource, it is also beneficial to the circular economy.

For the earthworks on the beach, Jan De Nul is mobilising the most advanced bulldozers and excavators, all equipped with exhaust gas filter systems. And the project management team on site will have the latest generation of ecological site offices at their disposal, equipped with well-insulated materials and a heat pump.

As a result, Jan De Nul Group reduces its CO2 emissions by 90% and its NOx emissions and energy consumption in the site offices by 80%.

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