Posted on 21 July 2016
Dredging equipment builder Royal IHC has entered into a partnership with civil engineering firm Netics, specialised in innovative hydraulic structures made from reclaimed dredging sediment.
Royal IHC will supply expertise and support Netics in its ambition to introduce the new reuse concepts worldwide.
Netics offers special products for soil stabilisation, flood protection and floatable constructions.
Products made of dredging sediment
Netics has developed techniques to use the dredging sediment for creating structures such as levees, dams, breakwaters, islands and environmentally friendly riverbanks.
Two examples of their products, are the Baggertube geotextile and the Geowall building blocks.
|Concept of the Baggertube as a soft bank protection, filled with dredging sediment from the waterway.|
Efficient sediment management enables Netics to shift the current focus on cost reduction in the material processing chain to value creation. This represents an opportunity for innovation and sustainable growth for all party in the chain of handling dredging sediment.
An example of this concept was the Salhouse Broad Spit project in the Broads National Park, a wetlands near Norfolk, UK (see top photo). Here a small spit of land between a river and a moor was about to breach.
The narrow strip was widened by restoring the old situation with its original biodiversity habitat.
Netics was involved as an consultancy for the re-use of carefully selected and pretreated dredging material from elsewhere in the park.
Conventional retaining structures, such a piling, could not have delivered as many benefits to the natural environment, structural integrity and tourism.
Building with nature
The Salhouse Spit project is a good example of the Building with nature concept. Over a length of 170 m Baggertubes were placed and filled with dewatered dredging sediment from the park itself.
On top of the tubes vegetation was planted from elsewhere in the park. Finally the area behind the tubes was raised, also using dredging sediment from the park. And it was finished as a reed bed.
The tubes retaining structure has a shallow front slope with a gradient 1:10 to encourage a natural reed fringe which absorbs wave energy caused by the recreational boats.
Since its foundation in 2013, Netics has ranked highly in the top-100 most innovative SME companies in the Netherlands.
The majority of Netics’ clients are government agencies, conservation organisations, port companies, industrial concerns, dredging and mining companies, (hydraulic) building contractors, knowledge institutes and suppliers of dredging equipment and dewatering methods.
The new partnership between Royal and Netics offers both parties strategic advantages. The shared objective is to develop end-of-pipe solutions, and introduce these internationally.
As part of the partnership IHC acquired an interest in Netics.
This news item was originally published on the website of Royal IHC.
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Video of the Building with nature project in the National Broad Park wetlands, UK.