PAL Technology is one of many companies owned and operated by the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi. In 2006, the company was faced with various projects, which included the development of artificial islands, deepening canals and land reclamation. Expected to be booked for projects through 2018, the company required extensive construction and navigational dredging capabilities in order to complete each job, so PAL was in need of a dredge with superior power that was also capable of performing in extremely high temperatures.
The United Arab Emirates is one of most modern and richest countries in the world, but it also has a very hostile environment. The summer air temperatures in Abu Dhabi may range up to 131 degrees F with 30 percent humidity during the day, and up to 89 degrees F with 100 percent humidity at night. The salt water of the Persian Gulf can hold temperatures of up to 106 degrees F in shallow areas.
DSC was asked to manufacture a 24-inch x 24-inch Shark Class custom dredge with a special cooling unit built using titanium plates, making it capable of working around the clock under the harsh conditions. The final product represented the most powerful dredge ever delivered to this area by a U.S. dredge manufacturer in more than decade. The custom dredge was powered by a 16-cylinder Caterpillar 3516 diesel engine, and the hydraulic system was powered by a 12-cylinder Caterpillar 3412 diesel engine.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, hosted a dredge commissioning ceremony that was covered by the local television and press. Members of the Royal Family and the U.S. Embassy, as well as other potential customers, were in attendance. The event was held at the Sheikh’s private island, which was under development at the time. A large VIP receiving tent was erected at the end of the shoreline, at the cove where the dredge was located. Charlie Sinunu, International Sales Director for DSC, provided the VIPs with a tour of the dredge, while Eddie Cicardo, DSC Field Service Engineer, was at the controls to demonstrate the power of the state-of-the-art machine. During the first minute of the dredge pump demonstration, more 22,500 GPM of shells, sand, gravel and rocks up to 10 inches in size flew from the stern of the dredge. Following the demonstration, Sheikh Mansour remarked that the custom dredge had “exceeded their expectations.”