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Dredging Roundup / LATIN AMERICA Jul/Aug 2015

ECUADOR

The mayor of Guayas in Ecuador is demanding that two tributaries of the Guayas River be dredged. The mayor, Jaime Nebot, made the statements while promoting a symposium to analyze the sediment in the Guayas River, reported Ecuadorian publication El Universo. Nebot said that the two tributaries, the Daule and Babahoyo rivers, have not been dredged since 1968. “That doesn’t happen in any part of the civilized world,” he said. He added that the rivers have accumulated sediments, sand and lime, which then flow into the Guayas and affect navigation between 20 cities on its banks.

JAMAICA

A politician and a spokesman for the country’s opposition leadership has spoken out over a deal between French shipping giant CMA CGM and Cuba, the Jamaica Observer reports. The shipping company recently signed a deal with Jamaican authorities to dredge Kingston Harbour and upgrade, expand and operate the Kingston Container Terminal. Then, in May, CMA CGM signed a deal to operate a logistics hub at Cuba’s Mariel Port. Opposition spokesman for transport and works Mike Henry told the Jamaica Observer that he was afraid the company would have a conflict of interest if they operated both ports. “How can you serve two masters?” Henry said. CMA CGM officials responded that the company’s deal with its Cuban partner, AUSA, will not directly compete with the Kingston Container Terminal, but will rather serve Cuba’s domestic market.

MEXICO

Fishermen in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, have been protesting what they say has been a shoddy dredging job by Mexican company Constructores y Servicios Eduardo Ramirez, reports Mexican publication El Mañana. The company was hired for 700 million pesos, or $4.45 million USD, to dredge the San Antonio Bar, an area just south of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. The work included clearing a seven-kilometer navigation channel that is 150 meters wide and six meters deep, and constructing jetties. Though the contract began four years ago, the fishermen said, access and navigation have continued to be a serious problem. As a protest tactic, the fishermen stopped company employees from removing two dredges, two dump trucks and a tractor from the site. They are also asking local officials not to make any further payments on the work until it is completed.

MEXICO

The Mexican government will invest 15 million pesos, or just under $1 million USD, into dredging the canal and docks of the Puerto San Carlos in Ciudad Constitución, Baja California Sur. The dredging has long been demanded by the fishing community who say that ever since last September’s Hurricane Odile, it has been difficult to navigate in and out of the canal. The money will come from FONDEN, Mexico’s natural disaster fund, and the bidding is expected to take place in July and August, according to BCS Noticias and other Mexican publications.

CHILE

A terminal at a port in Northern Chile is being dredged to make way for the new post-Panamax ships that will soon be traversing the oceans. One of the two terminals at the Port Complex of Mejillones (PCM), north of Antofagasta in Chile’s arid northern region, has received local permits and approvals to dredge one extra meter of depth, reports El Mercurio de Antofagasta. The dredging of Puerto Angamos, terminal 1 of the PCM, will cost $16 million USD; it began in April and is expected to be complete in July. It will allow the terminal to host ships as large as 366 meters long and 49 meters wide, with a capacity of up to 14,000 containers. The dredged material will be removed to a deposit location 11 kilometers offshore.

URUGUAY

The Chinese trailing suction hopper dredge Xin Hai Hu 9 has been working on a secondary channel connecting to a regasification station outside the Port of Montevideo in the Rio de la Plata, reports the Uruguayan publication El Pais. The channel is a project of company Gas Say ago, and it connects the principal access channel of the port with floating docks about 2,000 meters (1.25 miles) off shore. Those docks will host a regasification boat and a transport boat. The channel has been dredged to about 14 meters (45 feet) by Shanghai Dredging Company. Dredging began a year and a half ago after a $37 million contract was signed.

ARGENTINA

Some wharves and the turning basin of the Mar del Plata port are being dredged by the company Dyosfer SRL, reports Puntonoticias of Argentina. Mar del Plata is a city on the southeast coast of Buenos Aires Province. The Regional Port Authority has contracted the company to return the port to its previous depth, allowing larger ships to call at the port. The dredged material is being removed through onland pipes, in order to have minimal impact on shipping traffic. Cronista.com reports that that Dyosfer will be using its dredge Victory I to extract about 80,000 cubic meters of sediment. The dredging began in March and was expected to be completed soon.

COLOMBIA

Dredging along the country’s most important waterway is finally poised to begin. Last year Colombia’s government hired a consortium, Navalena, to conduct a massive dredging project that will open up about 900 kilometers (560 miles) of the river. The river flows from the country’s productive mining and petro-producing areas to the Atlantic, but only accommodates about two percent of the nation’s cargo because it is not navigable year round. The consortium, made up of Brazilian company Odebrecht and the Colombian company Valorcon, began bathymetry in June. It expects to complete the project in about six years, according to Reuters.

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