#Dredging - Freeway, a trailing suction hopper dredger is working on removing silt from the shipping channel on Waterford Estuary between Belview Port and out to sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Dutch flagged vessel with a dredging spoil capacity of 4,500m3 began duties last week on what in total will be a continuous 14-day dredging operation. Dumping is taking place at an approved site south-west of Hook Head.
Freeway is a sister of Causeway, which last year carried out the same work for the Port of Waterford. The dredgers form part of a 30 strong fleet from Dutch specialists Boskalis Westminster B.V, whose agent in this country is Irish Dredging Ltd.
The port which has a container (lo-lo) terminal at Belview also handled a 10% increase in tonnage of bulk cargoes in 2015 compared to 2014.
In addition Waterford City welcomed 16 cruise ships in 2015, including those making anchorage off Dunmore East. The cruise sector has provided further economic spin-offs for the city and the wider south-east region.