Dredging Market – A Niche or Diverse Market?

At first glance, the dredging market, or the dredging industry, may seem small and limited. However, it is much more diverse than most people realise.  At in2Dredging (i2D) we are active solely in the dredging industry. And many people we talk to are surprised by the range and complexity of the work we do.

Those familiar with the term “dredging” tend to associate it with the traditional dictionary definition, which is limited to the removal of underwater soil.  Yet this definition is far from accurate when describing the modern dredging market and its practices.  In the 1960s the dredging industry was already performing underwater rock cutting and excavation on a large industrial scale. By the 1980s, this innovative industry had started to accurately place rock subsea at great water depths. These are just two examples of how the dredging industry has developed in the last century to meet changing demands. With this in mind, nowadays a more comprehensive definition for dredging would be “excavating, transporting or placing soil and/or rock mainly underwater”.

Dredging is a Science

To accurately model unique and complex physical processes, dredging requires a scientific approach. Furthermore, dredging is often of key importance on large scale infrastructure projects. It can also be capital intensive and schedule critical.

Dredging has been taught at academic level since 1922 at the Technical University Delft. Moreover, in 1978 the international Central Dredging Association was founded to enhance industry wide understanding of dredging methodologies and difficulties encountered. For i2D, there is a substantial amount of science involved in ensuring our services and tools are reliable and add value to our customers.

Multi-disciplinary Dredging Teams

Dredging teams are typically multi-disciplinary, which makes the industry even more exciting and interesting.  A dredging specialist might actually be an expert in a particular dredging subject.  i2D is a one-stop-shop multi-disciplinary team with members specialising in a number of areas. These areas include operational or technical management, engineering, estimating, data processing, environment, hydrographic surveying, research, development and innovation.

Dredging Applications

Today dredging has many and diverse applications, some of which are listed in the table below. Luckily these applications can be found across many horizontal markets not just the dredging market. This gives us the opportunity to provide quality expertise to a range of clients across various industries and steadily grow as a business.

Waterways and Ports
Construction and maintenance of navigable waterways.
Traditional application and the cradle of the dredging industry.
Hydraulic Mining of Ore
Excavation of ore for processing.

Breakwaters, Groins and Scour Protection
Coastline and riverbank protection or construction of sheltering structures.
Extraction of Construction Material
For example, sands for the cement industry.
Land Reclamation
Relatively cheap land reclamation method used to reclaim land for the need of human activities.
Mine Rehabilitation
Dredge and transport of residue ore, tailings.
Subsea Rock Installation
Rock placement for the protection and/or stabilisation of pipelines, cables and other underwater structures.
Cleaning of sediments to prevent the spread of contaminantes.

Submerged Tunnels
Underwater trenching for the installation of tunnel elements.
Waste Removal
Removal of debris from water bodies.
Marine Infrastructure
Works for the construction or maintenance of jetties, quays, platforms, structures, marinas, boardwalks, etc.
Offshore Oil and Gas
Protection and/or stabilsation of pipelines, cables and structures.

Wildlife Preservation
Creation or maintenance of healthy environments for the local flora and fauna.
Offshore Renewable Energy
Protection and/or stabilisation of cables and structures.
Shore Replenishment
Maintenance of eroding shorelines caused by nearby structures or natural dynamics.
Hydroelectric Dams
Removal of sediments from reservoirs.