Most of the capital dredging (about 80%) will be carried out using a mechanical dredge. A mechanical dredge is an excavator (like you would see on a land-based building site) which sits on top of a barge. The use of an excavator enables solid and compact material to be removed from the seabed which is transported by barge to the port reclamation area.
All of the capital dredge material removed during the Channel Capacity Upgrade Project is beneficially reused. Dredging using a mechanical in some circumstances may be slower than other types of dredgers, however, it provides the best environmental outcomes for Cleveland Bay.
The mechanical dredge is an excavator mounted onto a pontoon which digs material from the sea bed and puts it onto a waiting barge. The barge then moves the material to the reclamation area (see diagram) to the east of the Port.
All capital dredge material will be moved to the Port Reclamation Area to create more land for the Port’s future developments. This re-use of the capital dredge material is in accordance with the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 and Australia’s UNESCO 2050 commitments.