VESSEL REVIEW | Azerbaijan’s newest maintenance dredger to be deployed in Caspian Sea

Photo: DSC Dredge

Louisiana-based builder DSC Dredge recently handed over a new non-self-propelled dredger ordered by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on behalf of the Azerbaijani government.

The manufacture of the new dredger was commissioned by the USACE’s Marine Design Center (MDC) as part of an initiative by the US Department of Defense to help the Azerbaijani government expand the country’s maritime operational capabilities. DSC Dredge emerged as the winner of the USACE’s competitive tender in October 2019, and the design and construction of the vessel commenced early the following year.

The CSD was built and tested at DSC Dredge’s facilities in Greenbush, Michigan, and later disassembled, transported to Azerbaijan, reassembled, tested, and activated, demonstrating the effectiveness of the vessel’s modular construction.

The CSD will be based out of the port of Astara and will be used primarily for maintaining the harbour entrances and shipping channels of the ports operated by the Azerbaijani State Border Service’s Coast Guard. Among other things, this will enable the Coast Guard of the State Border Service to continue operating its fleet of vessels without being impeded by encroaching sediment located in the Caspian Sea. DSC Dredge said this capability is essential in ensuring Azerbaijan’s capability to protect its coastline, as more navigable channels will translate into regular maritime patrols to help deter acts of terrorism that would otherwise be committed by some of the country’s more hostile neighbours in the Caspian Sea region.

The 50-foot (15.2-metre) dredger has a draught of two feet (0.6 metres) and is designed to be operated by one crew. The maximum dredging depth is rated at 25 feet (7.6 metres). At maximum dredging depth, the custom vessel can discharge the dredge material through up to 3,500 feet (1,066 metres) of floating discharge pipe at sea level.

One Caterpillar diesel engine with radiator cooling and a rated output of 440 hp (328 kW) provides power to the dredge pump, the cutter drive, and the hydraulic winches. The dredger itself is hydraulically driven and can operate off a two-spud system.

The dredger has an overall height of only 10 feet (3.1 metres) and is thus compact enough to be transportable by trailer for easy deployment.

The cast steel cutterhead, which is designed with six smooth blades, is driven by a dedicated hydraulic motor that has variable speed capability and is reversible. The three-section hydraulic pump provides access for servicing the cutterhead motor, the swing winches, the spud winches, and the ladder winch.

See all the other news, reviews and features of this month’s Marine Projects Week right here.

50-foot Cutter Suction Dredger
Type of vessel:Cutter suction dredger
Owner:Azerbaijani Government
Operator:State Border Service, Azerbaijan
Builder:DSC Dredge, USA
Length overall:50 feet (15.2 metres)
Draught:2.0 feet (0.6 metres)
Main engine:Caterpillar 440 hp (328 kW)
Winches:Ladder winch; spud winches; swing winches
Dredging equipment:Hydraulic pump; cutter drive; cutterhead; ladder
Other equipment installed:Spuds
Type of fuel:Diesel

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