Posted on April 8, 2021
A new low turbidity dredging head that promises to make ports and harbours’ dredging activities significantly less damaging to the environment has received seed funding in the UK.
Cornish specialist company Lutra Marine has received investment from the British Design Fund to bring its patented environmentally friendly dredging technology to market. Lutra’s technology solves a huge problem within the dredging sector around how to maintain harbours and ports without causing damage to the local habitats, something which often results in dredging licenses being withheld or withdrawn.
The team at Lutra Marine, led by Daniel Wormald, have developed a unique approach to dredging silt, sediment and rock from harbours and other marine environments. By using high-precision cutter heads the team claims it can vastly reduce turbidity and sediment being stirred up. All the dredged material is captured within the cutter head unit and is pumped safely to the chosen disposal location.
Daniel Wormald, Founder of Lutra Marine said, “We have been blown away by the interest shown from harbours, ports and more recently the mining sectors. We knew we were solving an important issue around helping the harbours meet certain environmental standards, but we never expected to see such interest in the high-precision element of our products.”
Lutra’s technology is incredibly important for sites of special scientific interest or where dredging poses a risk to local natural habitats. But further, the cutter heads that the team have developed also allow for extremely high precision and can dredge to within 10cm of underwater obstacles and harbour perimeters. This is possible due to the 90-degree angled sides which allow for cutting all the way to the edge of the unit. This also allows the team to cut straight, deep edges right to the bottom of harbour walls.
Damon Bonser, CEO of the British Design Fund said, “We are delighted to be supporting Lutra Marine, they bring a huge amount of technical expertise to the table and their product has been borne of frustration that all the alternative dredging solutions were so damaging to their local environment.”
The British Design Fund invests in and supports early-stage, well designed, product and manufacturing businesses in the UK. The BDF works with extraordinary entrepreneurs with scalable products who are ready to accelerate growth and build long term value and thriving stand-out businesses.