?Magic Island Maker? Completes Sea Trials
China’s most advanced dredging vessel, dubbed the “magic island-maker,” completed her first sea trial on Tuesday.
The Tian Kun Hao, the largest vessel of her kind in Asia, can dig as deep as 35 meters under the seafloor and dredge 6,000 cubic meters per hour.
The 17,000-ton, 140-meter (460-foot) dredger has a total installed power of 25,843kW. The vessel's 6,600-kilowatt dredging equipment can mince rocks and can pump dredged material as far as 15 kilometers (nine miles) away. She has four different types of cutter, a general cutter, clay cutter, rock cutter and heavy rock cutter, so depending on the geological condition of the seafloor, the dredger is capable of dredging rocks that have a side compressive strength of up to 50mPa.
The vessel is expected to be delivered in August to Tianjin Dredging, part of China Communication Construction Co (CCCC). She was built by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry.
The Tian Kun Hao also has an advanced global positioning system and an automatic control system that means she can be operated without crew, reports the South China Morning Post.
The vessel will replace the Tian Jing Hao as Asia's largest dredger. The Tian Jing Hao can excavate 4,500 cubic meters of sand per hour and reportedly spent 193 days working on five reefs in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea during 2013 and 2014.
China has built an estimated 200 dredging vessels since 2006, making it one of the world’s biggest builders of dredgers.