Tarmac Marine supplies high quality natural sand and gravel aggregates from the seabed off the UK for use in ready mixed and pre-cast concrete, general construction and coastal defence schemes.
Tarmac Marine owns a fleet of four ships purpose built for aggregate dredging and these supply the company’s wharves with high quality natural sand and gravel aggregates used in major construction projects. The ships operate round the clock, extracting over 3.5 million tonnes of sand and gravel per year from licensed dredging areas in the North Sea, English Channel, Bristol Channel and Irish Sea in waters between 10 and 40 metres deep.
The ships deliver cargoes of between 2000 and 5000 tonnes to landing points close to where the aggregates are used. This greatly reduces lorry movements – a 5000 tonne aggregate cargo is the equivalent of 250 twenty tonne lorries and marine supply is therefore a major benefit in cities such as London, Southampton and Cardiff.
The dredgers deliver aggregate to wharves with on site processing plants along the River Thames, along the south coast between Shoreham and Southampton, in South and North Wales and in SW and NW England. In addition, Tarmac Marine trades another 900,000 tonnes per year bought from other dredging operators to meet customers’ needs.
Each dredger uses satellite navigation to dredge to an accuracy of within five metres, reaching the precise location of aggregate reserves on the seabed. Each dredger is manned by two crews who typically work a rotation of two weeks on and two weeks off, allowing the ships to operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week, only stopping for maintenance or in poor weather.
Around eighty sea staff are employed and as part of Tarmac Marine’s commitment to training for the future, up to six engineering and deck cadets are in training at any one time. The wharves have 69 personnel across the units. All operations have the ability to operate 24/7 and process an average of 4.5 million tonnes of marine aggregate per annum. Tarmac Marine is managed by a small team of specialists in marine and wharf operations, ship engineering and mineral resources, based in Chichester, West Sussex.
Tarmac Marine owns and operates four purpose-built aggregate dredgers, the City of London and Westminster built in 1989/90 and the City of Chichester and Cardiff built in 1997. All four ships were designed by the company with the help of the ship yard and are well suited to the requirements of the business.
Regular ship safety, environmental and domestic inspections are undertaken and in depth audits are carried out, both internally by Tarmac Marine staff and by external parties like the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Tarmac Marine supplies around 3.5 million tonnes per year of sand and gravel from some 18 licensed dredging areas.
Tarmac Marine has a network of aggregate wharves and processing plants located along the River Thames, the south coast and in the Bristol Channel. These take the as-dredged sands and gravels from the ships and process them into the grades of aggregate required by our customers.
Tarmac Marine employs over 80 sea staff and encourages cadets to join for offshore experience as part of their training, with 5-6 engineering and deck officer cadets commonly deployed across the fleet. Some cadets join the company and gain promotion and career progression within the business, occasionally being promoted to ship’s Master and Master Mariner.