Ecological dredging project improves quality of water

By Uaueza Kanguatjivi (in Wuxi,China)

China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) Tianjin Dredging Co., Ltd. has initiated a new round of ecological dredging in the Meiliang Lake region of Binhu District, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province.

This project aims to address pollution issues by dredging and disposing of sediments in Meiliang Lake that are moderately to severely contaminated and also a part of China’s new quality forces under the 2024 Two Session.

Covering an expansive area of approximately 28.9 square kilometres, the dredging effort targets an estimated total volume of 8.341 million cubic meters of sediment. The focus lies on removing pollutants that have accumulated at the bottom of Meiliang Lake, thereby restoring its ecological balance.

Pumping the silt from the lake bed onto the Taihu Star platform allows it to be treated via compression and solidification. This treatment turns liquid mud into mud cakes that can be used as fertilizer and for reuse in construction, ensuring that the dredged material is effectively stabilized before being transferred to land for reuse.

The CCCC’s initiative underscores a proactive approach towards environmental conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in the region. By addressing pollution at its source and implementing innovative dredging techniques, the project aims to improve water quality and enhance the ecological health of Meiliang Lake and its surrounding areas.

As efforts continue, stakeholders anticipate positive outcomes in terms of environmental restoration and the preservation of biodiversity in the Taihu Lake basin. The collaborative efforts of CCCC Tianjin Dredging Co., Ltd. and local authorities exemplify a commitment to safeguarding the ecological integrity of Meiliang Lake for future generations.

The project introduces the use of the intelligent green platform ship named the “Star of Taihu,” a world-first vessel equipped with fully autonomous Chinese environmentally friendly cleaning technology.

This state-of-the-art ship integrates environmental clean-up, sediment solidification, and wastewater treatment capabilities, setting a new standard for environmental intelligence globally.

Capable of efficiently cleaning 5,000 cubic meters per day while simultaneously solidifying sediments on-board, the vessel represents a significant advancement in environmental remediation technology.

The Meiliang Lake Ecological clean-up Project underscores CCCC’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development.

This initiative aligns with the company’s portfolio of notable projects, including the Beira Harbour maintenance Dredging Project in Mozambique, the Algiers Port Extension Project in Algeria, the Tema Container Terminal Construction Project in Ghana under the Belt and Road Initiative, the Dar es Salaam Harbour Channel Dredging Project in Tanzania, and the Lake Ahemé Dredging Project in Benin.

Through leveraging cutting-edge technology and expertise, CCCC aims to mitigate pollution and restore the ecological balance of Meiliang Lake, contributing to the broader goal of revitalizing the Taihu Lake basin. The Meiliang Lake Ecological clean-up Project represents a significant step towards achieving environmental sustainability and preserving natural ecosystems for present and future generations.

CCCC’s General Manager of Corporate Culture Department Tian Jufang said “CCCC is the largest bridge design and dredging company which insist on projects to make better lives”

Meanwhile, Chinese Engineer and Chief Consultant of CCCC Tainjin Dredging Co Gu Ming says the Taihu Star Ships number one and two are specially tailored for the design for Taihu Lake’s usage. Stating that at the current stage the dredging capacity of it and the amount of work is around 8 million cm3 however the total work could reach around 40 million cm3.

“Which means Taihu Lake is not a closed region for rivers it is close to the Jiangsu river which has benefitted several provinces along it.

“After the Taihu project we have been providing services for a long time and also other provinces have been providing proposals for us along the Delta River to make use of the Taihu number 1 and 2 ships.

“Therefore Taihu Lake Star ship will continue its services for as long as 5 to 10 years and also it will provide services for other provinces and lakes along the Yangtze River,” Gu said.

Gu added that 3 ships are not enough for the whole dredging work stating in the future more ships will be required.

“According to China’s revelations there is a standard usage or life span of the Dredging Project of 25 to 30 years. After the dredging work and the projects it will be disposed for usage.

“We hope that the ship can be disposed as early as possible as this simplifies a success in the environmental treatment and improvement in China,” Gu said.

Deputy Director of Wuxi Municipal Bureau of Water Resources and CCCC’s Client Lan Xiukai says the CCCC’s construction process began in on May, 29 of 2007 to be specific when Wuxi experienced a crisis of water caused by a severe burst of micro green and blue algae which made the water of Taihu Lake black and smelly.

“This greatly affected the people’s livelihood and quality of life within this region. Due to the crisis at the time.

“The government made a decision for the improvement and comprehensive treatment of the Taihu Lake’s water using scientific measures,” Lan said.

He added that blue and green algae is ancient in the world and has originated from 33 Billion years ago.

Lan says part of the project’s agenda is control new sources of pollution such as agricultural and internal pollution through the project’s ability to take dredging project and take out mud and sludge in Taihu Lake.

“The project aims to cut resources from the beginning and clean up sludge mud and reduce internal pollutants.

“This is a 16 year practice and over the years it has greatly changed and improved the quality of water in this region as well as controlled new pollutants in this area,” Lan added.

According to Lan the CCCC has over 1500 ports and bridges with African countries as well as fishing programmes.

Lan added that understanding why the project exists means understanding that the Taihu Ecological Project is the third largest Lake in China covering the most wealthy developing regions.