Civitavecchia, rock dredging works



Dominated by the imposing 16th century ‘Fort Michelangelo’, Civitavecchia is the third most important port of the Mediterranean and one of the busiest ports for cargo, ferries and cruise ships in Italy. Located at 75 km north of the Italian capital, it is also known as ‘the port of Rome.’ All major cruise liners dock at twenty dedicated piers, and offer day-trips to Rome and the Vatican premises. Besides the three cruise terminals, the port of Civitavecchia also features container terminals. And with frequent sailings to and from Sardinia, Sicily, Barcelona, Malta and Tunis, it is also a very important ferry hub on the Thyrrenian Sea.

Taken together, all this represents a significant flow of cargo, traffic and people. With 2.000 ferry- and cruise ships passing through per year and more than 2 million passengers transiting every year, the deep water port of Civitavecchia needed expansion and a new ferries terminal. The presence of hard rock material required the assignment of a very heavy cutter suction dredger (CSD). For this project, Dredging International assigned its ‘Ambiorix’, with a combined power of 28.200 kW the heaviest rock breaker in the world.

Our solution

The scope of work included dredging and reclamation works for the future New Ferry Terminal at the north of the inner port; dredging of seven trenches for the positioning of caissons in the frame of the extension of a breakwater; deepening of some parts of the access channel; and pumping dredged material onshore in two reclamation areas, for further quay construction.

The dredging depth varied according to the specifications. The access channel was deepened to minus 18 m and target depth in the Darsena Traghetti was set at minus 10 m.

The rocky material consisted mainly of calcarenite, and at a strength of 400 kg/cm² was hard indeed. At Civitavecchia, CSD Ambiorix dredged a total volume of 1,2 million m³ of rock and discharged it into the onshore reclamation.


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