News and information for the worldwide dredging industry

DREDGING ROUNDUP LATIN AMERICA -July/August 2014

LUSCHI’s trailing suction hopper dredge Recreio do Bandeirantes , remaned the LUSCHI X.

LUSCHI’s trailing suction hopper dredge Recreio do Bandeirantes , remaned the LUSCHI X.

BRAZIL

Brazilian dredging company LUSCHI has purchased a trailing suction hopper dredge, its second dredge purchase of the year. The company purchased a 1,330-cubic-meter (about 1,740-cubic-yard) dredge named Recreio do Bandeirantes, which it redubbed LUSCHI X. The vessel is 77.5 meters (about 254 feet) long, 13 meters (about 43 feet) wide and can dredge up to 22 meters (about 72 feet). It is equipped with a waterjet cutterhead, a waterjet at the doors of the cisterns, a barge loading system and a bow thruster, a propulsion system. After some technical revisions, the dredge should be available for use by August. Earlier this year the company had announced the purchase of a 2,000-cubic-meter (about 2,600-cubic-yard) dredge, the LUSCHI IX, which has been used to dredge the Rio Grande shipyard in the south.

ARGENTINA

The subsecretary of Port Affairs from the province of Buenos Aires presented the bidding terms and the technical specifications for the dredging of Port Quequen. The presentation was made to representatives of Van Oord, Jan de Nul, Dredging International and Boskalis International. Bid winners for another portion of the dredging project will be announced in late August. Port officials hope to deepen the port to 50 feet in hopes of lowering the price of shipping grain from the port, according to Argentine publication Necochea Total.

HONDURAS

A team of Americans who travelled to the Mosquito Coast in June for a dredging project, instead spent weeks in jail on weapons charges. The Florida marine salvage company Aqua Quest International had been contracted to dredge the Patuca River to pull up decades-old wood that had fallen into the river and been preserved in the mud, according to a report by the New York Times. The mahogany and cedar logs are still quite valuable, and Aqua Quest had an agreement to share some of the profits of their sale with the local municipality. The municipality was also eager to have the river deepened in hopes that it would reduce flooding, among other things. However, as soon as the company’s crew landed in Puerto Lempeira in May, their boat was raided by police, who found five guns aboard. Company officials say the guns were on-board to ward off pirates in the Caribbean, according to the Times. Nonetheless, the five-man crew was kept in a Honduran jail for several weeks. They were finally released in late June and planned to go forward with the project.

MEXICO

Tennessee company Dredge Central has delivered three 18-inch booster pump assemblies to a Mexican dredging company for use on a longpipeline project. The new booster pumps were completed and delivered to the state of Sonora to the company Construcciones Jose, S.A. de C.V. The booster pumps will go to work on a dredging project that will remove 1.3 million cubic yards of sand and discharge it to a maximum distance of about 23,000 feet, according to a press release by the company. Each of the boosters consists of a Georgia Iron Works dredge pump, powered by a Caterpillar Model 3508 diesel engine. Dredge Central also recently sold a similar booster for a separate long-line project in Belize.

PANAMA

Half of the 16 rolling gates to be installed in the expanded Panama Canal have now been delivered to Panama after a 30-day voyage across the Atlantic, according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). The gates have come in two shipments: the first arrived last August, and the second in early June. The third shipment is scheduled for August. The shipments have been delayed due to conflicts with the contractor, Grupos Unidos por el Canal. The subcontractor in charge of building the gates is Cimolai SpA, and the construction has been taking place in Trieste. The gates have two dimensions: the larger ones are 57.6 meters (about 189 feet) long, 10 meters (about 33 feet) thick, and 31.9 meters (about 105 feet) tall and weigh about 3,900 tons. The others have the same length but are only 8 meters (about 26 feet) thick and 22.3 meters (about 73 feet) tall, and weigh 2,300 tons, the ACP reported. All the gates are currently being stored at a speciallybuilt receiving facility on the Atlantic end of the Canal, but some will be transferred to the Pacific side once a staging facility is completed.

CUBA

Two rivers near the city of Camagüey are being dredged to protect against flooding during cyclones and hurricanes, reports the Agencia Cubana de Noticias. The rivers of Tínima and Hatibonico, which run through the city, have been the cause of flooded homes and neighborhoods in years past, so the Civil Defense and the Administration of Hydraulics Utilization have been working to clean and dredge the river to allow greater capacity. It is part of a larger campaign to reduce flooding risks in the region, the news agency reported.

ECUADOR

The Belgian company Dredging International was the only bidder in a tender to dredge the access channel of the Port of Guayaquil, according to Ecuadorian publication El Comercio. The port’s entrance channel is home to large rocky obstacles called Los Goles, which port and city officials have been eager to remove. The port’s technical commission had assigned a ceiling of $17 million for the project, but Dredging International’s bid came in at $20.6 million. The commission was expected to present a report in July outlining the next steps.

ARGENTINA

Argentina announced a plan to dredge the Magdalena Channel through Rio de la Plata, inciting a storm of outrage by Uruguayans, who have been waiting for Argentina to approve the dredging of its shared channel through the waterway. The two countries share oversight of the 106-kilometer (65.9-mile) Martin Garcia Channel through Rio de la Plata, which runs closer to the Uruguayan ports and is more crucial to that country’s economic success. Uruguay has been pressuring Argentina to approve dredging in the channel for years, but Argentina has dragged its feet. The recent announcement of a plan to dredge a separate channel through Rio de la Plata, which would serve Argentina’s ports, has incited indignation from Uruguay, who has responded with a formal complaint and a document with 40 questions about the intentions of the Argentinian government.

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