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Ellicott® Sells Dredges for Use on Mt. Pinatubo Volcano Relief Project, the Philippines


Source: World Dredging Mining & Construction

Philippines dredgeEllicott® International of Baltimore, Maryland signed a contract with a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc. for the supply of four portable Series 370 "Dragon®" dredges and auxiliary equipment.

The dredges will be used to remove "lahar," a mixture of volcanic ash, mud and sand, from rivers and tributaries in the area surrounding Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines.

Since the June 1991 eruption of the volcano, which has claimed at least 75 lives, the threat of massive flooding is described as being a "ticking time bomb" by the Philippine government.

The rivers are currently filled to capacity with the lahar material and there is no place for the monsoon rains to drain, which is a threat to 25 communities within a 19-mile radius of Mt. Pinatubo. The largest, Angeles City, has a population of 360,000 only 10 miles from the volcano.

The only feasible way of removing the estimated two billion tons of lahar is by dredging. Brand Marine Services, Inc. signed a two-year dredging contract with the Philippine Government and immediately purchased the dredges from Ellicott®’s Mud Cat™ Division. Each dredge can be transported completely assembled on a single trailer, and can excavate to a depth of 20 feet. The vessels are expected to remove over 200 cy/hr of lahar, and will work 24 hours per day.

Brand Marine’s contract is for the removal of 5.2 million cubic meters of material. This is the largest dredging contract of this type ever awarded to an American dredging firm by the Philippines. It is also the largest single order received by the Mud Cat™ Division.

Two of the 370 "Dragon®" dredges, pipeline and spare parts were shipped in April. The other two vessels were delivered in June. Brand used Ellicott®’s facilities as a mobilization point for all necessary equipment and special training for the operating personnel.

Brand named the dredges after provinces in the region: Luzon, Zambales, Pampanga and Bataan. All four dredges are now operating on site and are said to be producing at the expected rate, despite difficult conditions and the abrasive material.

Reprinted from World Dredging Mining & Construction

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