Amer Al Hammadi of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council Council (UPC) delivers his keynote address (Fot. CEDA)
Throughout the conference there was a lot of interaction. In the picture Mootaz Khaled of ADNOC, UAE, asks a question
"A perfect conference", "inspiring experience", "very good atmosphere" reflected participants on CEDA Dredging Days 2012. Entitled "Virtue, Venture & Vision in the Coastal Zone
" this year's edition of CEDA's prestigious series of conferences, the CEDA Dredging Days, took place from 12 to13 December in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
"The Gulf region is home to substantive dredging programmes occasioned by extensive coastal land reclamations and the development of the offshore oil and gas industry. There is a tremendous potential for combining the knowledge and experience of those in the dredging profession worldwide with those working on these extensive projects in the Middle East: one of the core missions of CEDA" said Anders Jensen, CEDA President. "With 170 participants representing 53 organisations from business, government and academia and coming from 19 different countries CEDA Dredging Days 2012 certainly made use of that potential for professional exchange", he added.
Under the umbrella of the World Organisation of Dredging Associations, WODA, CEDA is responsible for Africa, Europe and the Middle East. While CEDA Dredging Days have been organized a great many times in Europe and a couple of times in Africa it's only the first time that this premier technical forum has been held in the Middle East. "It is important for CEDA to provide these opportunities for the members in all its regions" said Sergio Ooijens of IHC Merwede, who regularly participates in CEDA Dredging Days.
The keynote address on the Musaffah Channel Project was delivered by Mr Amer Al Hammadi, executive director of planning and infrastructure of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council Council (UPC). Completed in 2011, the Musaffah Channel is a major milestone in the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 implementation process, that comprises major infrastructure enhancement projects designed to support the Emirate's economic development. Environmental considerations were vital as the channel passes through a marine protected area, valued for its sea grass community and unique marine habitat.
Minimising impacts on these valuable habitats was crucial to the project's success.
The keynote address dovetailed perfectly with the conference theme, Virtue, Venture & Vision in the Coastal Zone
. In this context by "Virtue
" CEDA means environmental awareness and concern. "Venture
" is the development of the coast for commercial purposes benefitting the local and regional economy. "Vision
" is the long term planning for aesthetic reasons creating a sustainable future. The aim is to support and delight those dependent on the coastal zone.
Presentations in the subsequent sessions focused on port development, access channel dredging and the creation of artificial islands for oil exploration - the latter very much a specialty in the region. Sustainable planning, design and implementation of dredging projects are always important aspects within the CEDA Dredging Days. In this particular conference two technical sessions were devoted to these aspects: working with nature and measures to reduce the impact of dredging work soon the natural environment such as silt curtains. For dredging projects to be successful and sustainable, the equipment used must be fit for the purpose. Therefore presentations on the latest developments in equipment and instrumentation were also included in the programme. The Academic / Technical development session featured presentations about the latest scientific research.
The International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) Young Authors Award was given to Arnaud Verschelde and Dredging International, Belgium for the paper entitled "Erosion behavior of a draghead".
Delegates were treated to a superb programme of technical visits during which they had the opportunity to view a number of select, recently finished projects such as the Mangrove Channels, Fishing Port, Al Maryah Island and Corniche Beach. Hosted by the conference main sponsor, long-term CEDA member, the National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) a smaller group had an amazing helicopter flight while the other group had a guided boat tour.
The conference and exhibition was sponsored by three CEDA member companies, National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively and Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam from the Netherlands. HIS Dredging and Port Construction, CEDA's official magazine was the official media partner. The Society of Engineers - UAE acted as a supporting partner.
The CEDA Dredging Days 2012 conference proceedings with all presented papers can be ordered from the CEDA Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org). Most of the presentation files will be made available to conference delegates and CEDA corporate members shortly after the event and to the public after 1 March 2013 on the CEDA website, www.dredging.org in the Digital Library.