Siemens engines power onboard dredger


The opportunity

The Bay of Biscay, which spans the eastern French coast, is notorious for wind and storms that cause significant beach erosion. Among the cities on the coast of the Bay is Bayonne, the ninth largest French port which also borders some of the finest beaches in the French Basque Region.A constant supply of sand is required to refurbish and maintain these beaches. Moreover, incidents as disparate as storm-driven waves or a simple change in an offshore sandbar might cause one coastal area or port to lose sand while another gains.As a result, the busy harbor must be continuously dredged to allow for the passage of ships as well as refurbish the sand for the many beaches that attract thousands of tourists annually. Special “dredger” vessels are employed to accomplish both tasks.

The Solution

A Dutch-Spanish co-operation between Damen Dredging Equipment (DDE) and Spain-based Astilleros de Murueta shipyard saw the first dredger delivered (2015) for the “Chambre de Commerce et d’Industries de Bayonne,” Pays Basque, which operates Bayonne Harbor.

Both parties made sure that the hopper dredger vessel be properly equipped for the task at hand. All design work, including both the basic design and the naval architecture, was performed by the shipyard. The vessel is 61.8 meters (20.3 feet) in length with a trailing pipe system, a 3.2 m3 (113 cubic feet) bucket grab crane. The superstructure is placed aft. The 500 millimeter (0.79 inches) trailing pipe, designed for a maximum dredging depth of minus 20 meter, (66 feet) was delivered complete with gantries, winches and position indication system.

Siemens was asked to equip this vessel with two model SL3-48ST Siemens generators, each with 1,725 horsepower / 1,800 rpm. The generators provide all the power necessary to drive the onboard equipment, including the dredging pumps. These engines have the unique capability to work simultaneously as both generators and as a propulsion system, and can be considered the core of the vessel.

The 1,200 m3 (42,378 cubic feet) trailing suction dredge (TSHD), aptly named “Hondarra,” which means “sand” in Basque, will perform maintenance dredging duties in the harbor of Bayonne and supply sand to the nearby beaches.


  • Lower maintenance costs due to improved preventive and corrective maintenance schedules
  • Reduced emissions, that meet the most demanding emissions standards (TIER II)

Hondarra Arm
Generator Set

For more information or assistance please contact us.

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