What we do


To ensure the safe passage of vessels from the North Sea to all of the harbours along the River Elbe, especially the Port of Hamburg, the navigational channel and the tributaries have to be maintained to a certain depth. The channel is 116 km long and extends from the North Sea to Hamburg.

The River Elbe is divided into 17 dredging sections and dredging is separated into two lots: the navigational channel (Lot 1) and its tributaries (Lot 2). This represents 8,800 dredging hours and 11,500 sailing kilometres. The dredging depth varies between 3.50 m and 15.80 m LAT(lowest astronomical tide) with a dredging tolerance of - 0.50 m.

DEME was awarded the maintenance contract in a joint venture between July 2018 and June 2019.


We performed the maintenance dredging works between Elbe 639 & 755 km; from the border of the Port of Hamburg to the estuary of the Elbe Pass at Cuxhaven.

Lot 1 covered the main fairway of the Elbe and Lot 2 encompasses the tributaries Wischhafener Süderelbe, Glückstädter Nebenelbe, Sperrwerk Tönning, Este and many others. For the most part we were only allowed to dredge the tributaries at high tide.

An important part of the project is the dredging of the ferry route between the ports of Wischhafen and Glückstadt. This requires frequent dredging because the ports have very shallow access channels.

To successfully achieve the required results, DEME developed a special software tool. This innovative software allows the contractor and the customer to control the execution of the works according to the contract regulations.

Used technology:

Related jobs

All jobs