Boskalis is renowned for its eco-engineering expertise based on the Building with Nature philosophy. In designing a project we take the natural system as our starting point while taking the interests of all stakeholders into account. The resulting Building with Nature solution creates added value for the natural system as well as for all parties involved. This enables us to deliver tailor-made solutions, and thus make a positive contribution to a project’s feasibility. The impact of our eco-engineering solutions is greatest when we can incorporate them at the design stage of a project. At present primarily our most demanding clients are open to this, but even so we promote the concept to all our clients. Where the project design has already been determined, we are able to optimize the sustainable execution of our activities by applying environmentally friendly techniques and working methods, as well as advanced prediction models and monitoring systems. We see to it that our execution is seamlessly matched to the requirements of the environmental permit. We are renowned for our environmental expertise in our markets.
It is our ambition to realize our projects on the basis of the Building with Nature philosophy. In the short term, we aim to realize at least one Building with Nature project a year, subject to the willingness of our clients. Boskalis’ Eco-Engineering Taskforce plays a leading role in this respect. In addition, the taskforce discusses, coordinates and shares knowledge and successes, and promotes internal awareness at the Dredging & Inland Infra and Offshore Energy divisions. This enables the early identification of opportunities for projects and initiatives as well as creating a platform within the company. Chaired by a member of the Board of Management, the Taskforce includes representatives of Boskalis’ in-house engineering firm Hydronamic and senior management.
Over the past few years, we have reported on successful projects, such as a large-scale coral relocation in Jamaica and the protection of whales during a land reclamation project in Gabon. In 2015, we have been awarded the nature restoration project Marker Wadden and have started with the pilot project involving 3D printed reefs in Monaco.
Soil and waterbed remediation
Our expertise can also be called upon for soil and waterbed remediation. Boskalis Environmental carries out noteworthy remediation projects both in the Netherlands and abroad, whereby it re-uses as much material as possible after processing.
Salvage and wreck removal
With SMIT Salvage (salvage and wreck removal) we provide assistance to vessels in distress and prevent potential major environmental disasters. We employ solutions that are friendly to both the environment and the natural surroundings. The removal of sunken ships and offshore platforms almost always takes place in cases where a wreck is obstructing shipping or presents an environmental hazard. We use advanced technology and expertise to remove hazardous substances such as fuel from wrecks and have a successful track record in salvaging ships and platforms under challenging circumstances. Projects that attracted a great deal of attention in 2015 were the salvage of the sunken car carrier Baltic Ace and the removal of 427 tons of heavy oil and 125 tons of diesel oil from the freighter Flinterstar, which sank 10 km off the coast of Zeebrugge after colliding with an LNG carrier. In total, SMIT Salvage was involved with more than 50 casualties in 2015.