A new guest has arrived in Monaco to work on the seafront extension project. The guest’s name is Francis Beaufort, and he is an enormous ship weighing 11,500 tonnes and measuring 142 meters in length. The Francis Beaufort has been tirelessly working on Monaco’s seafront extension project on the banks of the Larvotto. The vessel is equipped with pumps which have been dredging up unpolluted sediments from the bottom of the sea in order to prepare for the extension’s foundations, since the seabed has to be flat before the gigantic caissons can be installed.
Once the tank is full, the ship travels two miles to unload the sediments at a depth of over 200 meters, within an area specified by the government. Currents have been measured so that the sediments remain in Monegasque waters. If there is a risk that the sediments will travel to France, the workers withhold the load. To prevent the sediments from dispersing in the water, the pipe must be lowered as much as possible and extra precautions are taken to limit turbulence in the water. Barriers and buoys equipped with detectors have been installed to make sure the water is as still as possible. The buoys also identify noise pollution that may be experienced by underwater wildlife. All so Monaco can keep its waters crystal clear and preserve its biodiversity.
The ship comes from the Jan De Nul group and is equipped with a 380 tonne pumping arm that plunges to depths of between 20 and 55 meters to suck up sediment. When the 3,500 kilowatt pump is in action, the tank quickly fills with mud. It only takes about 45 minutes to fill a tank the size of 4 Olympic swimming pools.