The Biggest Dedger in Africa

Pirat X, the Biggest Dredger in Africa

Pirat X is the flagship of our dredging fleet. Being the biggest dredger in Africa, the cutter suction is one of the largest of its kind in the world. With three pumps and roughly 10,000 horsepower, it can dredge and transport up to 12.000 m3 soil-water mixture per hour at depths of up to 50 meters. It is a powerful partner in all major coastal hydraulic engineering projects – from harbour construction and dredging navigable channels to reclaiming beaches.

The dredger is equipped with leading-edge aggregates and corresponding control and monitoring systems. Dredging in the field is continuously monitored and evaluation with underwater viewing equipment, in combination with a DGPS system and mixture density and speed measuring systems.

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As the construction of the Second Niger Bridge in Onitsha under way, Pirat X is demonstrating what it is capable of – enormous power and reliability. Pirat X is a 30’’ dredger with offshore dredging/trenching capacity. The dredger has an extended dredge ladder capable of dredging in a depth of 32m and 38m respectively with a suction head unit to a depth of 50m. 

An electric motor drives the underwater pump, and the two booster pumps each powered by a diesel engine. The booster pumps with drives and the unit for the on-board supply are installed on the main deck level. The drive motor for the hydraulic pumps, as well as the unit for the underwater e-motor, are installed on a lower deck level.

The hydraulic pumps for the cutter head drives the winches, and the spud carriers are driven by a distributor gearbox of a Caterpillar diesel motor. The Cutter Suction Dredge Master can operate all the functions required for dredging from the control room. While there are no accommodation facilities in the ship, Pirat X fitted with a combined lounge with kitchen and toilet shower room provided. The Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD) is built-in Monopontoon construction without the drive and is equipped with three dredge pumps: an underwater pump and two booster pumps. 

What can Pirat X do? 

Pirat X has a production capacity of over 600,000 m3 monthly of a grain size of 1.30mm in an 18-hour production per day (double shift). She can dredge and transport up to 1,120 m3 soil water mixture per hour over a distance of 4.8 km at depths up to 50 meters. She is equipped with “Christmas Tree” arrangement, thus enabling her to work in an offshore facility/platform. Pirat X has a great advantage for large land reclamations, long-range sand delivery and offshore trenching.

Dredging in the field is continuously monitored and evaluated with underwater viewing equipment in combination with a DGPS system and mixture density and speed measuring system.

What makes Pirat X different from other dredgers? 

The difference is that she can work both offshore and onshore with the advantage of an extended ladder and the “Christmas Tree” arrangement. She also has a production capacity of over 600,000m3 of sand monthly to a depth of 50 m compared to others.

How will Pirat X make the Second Niger Bridge project faster? 

With the currently existing two spread, the project will take two years to complete. However, with the introduction of Pirat X and higher production capacity, the project will be completed in a record time of six months.

Does the use of this machine require special training? 

Yes. Due to the technicality of the machine, B&Q Dredging also has a structured skill transfer programme designed to train Nigerians in technical areas such as dredging, maintenance, fabrication, electrical/electronics works, etc.

What other projects will the ship be used for? 

She is being slated for the execution of N14.4B (€34.3M) 100 hectares of the Elegushi land reclamation project phase 2. Pirat X is a perfect and powerful partner in all major coastal hydraulic engineering projects – from harbour construction to offshore trenching for oil and gas projects, and dredging navigable channels to reclaiming beaches, etc.

What major challenges facing the dredging sector does Pirat X help solve? 

There is a significant reduction of operational time using Pirat X, thereby reducing cost

Dredging offshore
With the provision of the “Christmas Tree” arrangement and the advantage of the ladder length, Pirat X can conveniently work in offshore locations. 

Technical Specifications

General Information

Pirat X
Year of Construction
Schiff + 100 A 5 K 20 Pontoon Suction dredger

Main Dimensions

103.08 m
17.13 m
2.50 m

Dredging Depth

Short 22, Long 38m
Deep Suction
50 m

Component Power 

Total installed capacity
6.985 kW
1.000 kW
Underwater pump
1.118 kW
Booster pump 1
1.825 kW
Booster pump 2
1.825 kW
Hydraulic system
1.685 kW
On-board power supply
438 kW
Emergency generator
94 kW
Suction tube diameter
800 mm
Pressure pipe diameter
750 mm