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Official Christening Of Kari Hege

A champagne christening for the dredging vessel Kari Hege working to improve access into Wells harbour was hailed a “significant moment” in the port’s history.

The 200-tonne barge “Kari Hege” began work on October 5 to deepen parts of the main channel in preparation for the £1bn Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, due to be built by the end of 2011.

It was named after Kari Hege Mørk, stakeholder manager for the Norwegian-owned energy company behind the project, who broke a champagne bottle over her namesake’s hull in traditional fashion.

The improved channel will allow longer tidal access times for service boats and crews maintaining the 88 turbines during their 50-year lifespan.

The dredger – comprising an excavator mounted on the motorised barge Kari Hege will work until March to level the channel to a low-tide depth of 1m, after which it will be regularly maintained. It uses GPS tracking to ensure the work is precise while sand and gravel is moved aside, but not taken away.