Heerema installs 2,500-tonne cutter ladder on DEME’s Spartacus

Heerema’s “Swiss pocket knife” Aegir has successfully installed the 2,500 tonnes weighing cutter ladder into DEME’s new cutter suction dredger Spartacus, the largest and most powerful one ever built.

Spartacus is a 164 meter long and 44,180-kilowatt strong, self-propelled cutter suction dredger. Like other recent newbuilds from DEME, the vessel is equipped with dual fuel engines so it can run on LNG.

The vessel was launched on the 10th of November last year at IHC’s shipyard in Krimpen aan den IJssel, which is close to Rotterdam. Since then, the vessel has been laying at the quayside for further construction.

For the installation of the cutter ladder, the Spartacus was towed from IHC’s shipyard in Kinderdijk to the Caland Canal while the cutter ladder was transported by barge. The Aegir lifted the cutter ladder from the barge with her dual crane blocks, after which the Spartacus was moved into position and moored alongside the Aegir. The 57-metre long cutter ladder was lowered into position by rotating the ladder as well as shifting the Spartacus. Clearances encountered during this process were as small as 24 mm.

After the locking pins were engaged, the cutter ladder installation was completed. The Spartacus will now return to IHC for further construction activities, while the Aegir will soon depart Rotterdam to execute other projects in the North Sea.


The Spartacus is the third LNG-powered dredging vessel IHC is building for DEME. The Dutch shipbuilder previously built two LNG-powered trailing suction hopper dredgers called Minerva and Scheldt River.

“DEME’s drive to innovate and focus on sustainability is reflected in the company’s multi-year fleet investment programme,” said DEME CEO Alain Bernard when the Spartacus was launched. “The new additions to the fleet are part of our continuous efforts to further increase efficiency, both in terms of production and environmental performance. Spartacus stands out because of her unrivalled power and high-tech features on board. The cutter suction dredger will drive new levels of performance and provide our customers with flexible solutions for dredging projects in even the harshest and remote environments.”

Author: Adnan Bajic

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