Our objective is to make sure that the ports are available at all times without exception – 24 hours a day, all year long. Our highly qualified employees from the Workshop & Operations department attend to all the tasks that are necessary to ensure that this is the case. These tasks include servicing, maintenance and repairs as well as a 24/7 stand-by service. As a result, our team can respond quickly to accidents, faults or breakdowns at any time of the day or night or clear away snow and ice in winter.
Our employees are allocated to different teams depending on their own particular skills: Plant Operations/Divers, Workshop, Electrical Engineering, Port Maintenance and Team Bremen. Together, they are dedicated to ensuring that the ports of Bremen are always fully available. As we wish to guarantee that we can continue to count on expert employees in future, our industrial apprentices learn their trade as part of their own individual team. This allows them to get to know the special features of the technical plant & equipment at the ports at first hand.
Water depths are essential for a port to function properly and to ensure that ships can enter and leave safely. And that is why our experts from the dredging, dredging spoils management, bearing & sounding and surveying departments are kept busy every day to maintain the necessary water depths. It is natural for sediment to accumulate on the floors of the harbour basins and entrances to the locks. We sound these sediments to establish the quantities of silt and sand and use our dredging equipment to ensure sufficient water depths.
We need heavy-duty plant, such as bucket and suction dredgers, for our work. Water injection dredgers prevent sediment from settling on the harbour floors and keep it suspended in a water column. This means that these areas are always available for shipping. We not only remove the sediment, but use the sand and silt for instance in dyke construction, or relocate the material to designated dumping sites, in conformity with sustainability principles. All contaminated sediment is treated at our dredging spoils treatment facility in Bremen-Seehausen where it then goes to landfill in compliance with environmental regulations.
22 kilometres – that is the total length of the dykes and flood protection installations in and around Bremen. We attend to all the tasks that ensure that the dykes will hold, that all installations remain in good working order to make sure that people can live and work safely at the ports of Bremen. We provide reliable flood protection not only for the port district, but also for the surrounding regions.
As part of our maintenance obligations, we are also responsible for looking after the flood protection facilities. Amongst other things, this includes the management of green sites, repairing the revetments and all other necessary maintenance work. We also have our own site for the storage and disposal of marine debris. We conduct regular inspections as part of our quality assurance system and conduct a full dyke inspection together with our partner institutions every two years.
Once a year, we update our storm surge guidelines which contain all the protective measures that apply in case of a storm surge. If the water rises to a dangerous level, we have to react immediately and close up to 50 dyke openings and floodgates in and around Bremerhaven. To ensure that everything proceeds smoothly in case of an emergency, we have a dyke protection command and control centre which serves as the central point of communications as well as a flood equipment centre where sandbags and other protective materials are stored.