Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) has taken delivery of the Sauger III, a custom floating pump station by Damen Shipyards Group for supporting dredging operations.

Situated 110 km inland on the River Elbe and with a tidal range of 3.6 metres, the Hamburg Port requires regularly dredging like most ports. 37 metres in length and 10 metres wide, the station features a powerful, dual pump installation and comfortable accommodation for the crew.

The Sauger III was built to a completely new design following a European tender process that began with ten yards and was finally won by Damen. The order was placed in December 2014 and the vessel built in 15 months at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld The structure is essentially a pontoon fitted with sophisticated pumping equipment capable of managing very large volumes of sediment, plus crew accommodation. The core equipment consists of two pumps each connected to an arm on deck. One of these pumps takes the contaminated mud from the barges that come alongside to offload and then pumps it ashore via a floating line. The second pump/arm combination adds sea water to the mud to keep it in a liquefied state. The sediment is cleaned as it passes through the pumping apparatus, allowing to be safely dumped or used for a variety of purposes.

Damen Dredging Equipment built the dredge pump using the same moulds as previously used by the Hamburg Port Authority. For the jet pump a standard Damen design was used. The station is moored against piles and so does not have an independent propulsion system. The entire operation requires a crew of just two men, and is managed from a state-of-the-art pump control room. It is powered by electricity supplied via a shore connection with a transformer that converts it to the 690v and 400v necessary for the pumps.

The Sauger III is the first vessel that Damen has built for the Hamburg Port Authority. With the dredging equipment and pumps coming from Damen Dredging Equipment, 60% of the components came from Damen. This allowed the client to deal with a single party for all aspects of the project and a comprehensive service package will ensure that it operates at peak performance in the years ahead.

The vessel has been designed and built to comply with all German regulations and is certified by Germanischer Lloyd. In a nice touch, the Sauger III was towed from Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld to Hamburg by the Noordstroom, a new Damen Shoalbuster 3512 handed over to its owner Van Wijngaarden Marine Services B.V. by the same yard just a few weeks previously. The Sauger III is now undergoing commissioning and trials and will begin operations after the summer.


“Damen has delivered a customised dredging tool on time and to good quality,” commented Mr Jens Bald, Project Manager at HPA. “The Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld project management was professional and the cooperation with subcontractors like van der Leun Installatiebouw was very good. The crew and HPA technical supervisors are really satisfied with the vessel. We are looking forward to working again with Damen on future projects.”