On March 14 the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) awarded a $95.920 million contract to design and build a cutter suction dredge to IHC Beaver Dredgers B.V.
The new 12000kW dredge will replace the Mindi which has been in service at the canal since 1942 and has only a 9000kW capacity. With an expected delivery date of May 2011 the new dredge will have the modern equipment systems and components required for efficient operation.
“IHC Beaver Dredgers B.V. is very well-respected in the industry and has the expertise to meet our needs. The construction of a dredge with more pumping capacity and the ability to dredge deeper will allow us to continue to make the waterway even more navigable safe reliant and efficient” said ACP Vice President of Operations Manuel Benitez. “With this new dredge the ACP will boost the production capacity of our dredging fleet. This increase is necessary to meet the demands of the expansion as well as the maintenance and modernization projects of the waterway.”
The new dredge will be constructed in The Netherlands and will have the capacity to dredge along the entire canal including the Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal) Gatun Lake and both Atlantic and Pacific entrances at a depth of 25 meters even after the expansion concludes.
The selection process for the construction of the new dredge began in September 2007 when the ACP released its request for proposals. The ACP awarded the $contract to bidder IHC Beaver Dredgers B.V. after reviewing its proposal to ensure that all requirements were met. Dredge construction will begin within the coming months.