Latin America Dredging Roundup
By Katie Worth
Port of Santos Brazil
Port operator: Companhia Docas do Estado de Sao Paulo
Port depth: Expanded from 42 to 50 feet in 2012
Dredged material: Mud
How frequently maintained: Constantly
Who performs dredging: The Consorcio Draga Brasil a consortium managed by Companhia Docas do Estado De Sao Paulo (Santos Port Authority)
What dredges are used: Hopper dredges Xin Hai Hu and Hang Jun
How much material was removed in most recent dredging: Approximately 17.7 million cubic yards of mud was dredged from the navigational channel and placed on the ocean placement site six miles from the coast.
Plans to deepen the port: The port has plans to deepen its navigation channels from 45 feet to 48 feet.
About the port: The port is located on São Vicente Island in the state of São Paulo. Its major export cargos are soya sugar pellets oil coffee and orange juice. Imports include fertilizers wheat and petroleum.
Puerto Buenos Aires Argentina
Port operator: Argentina’s General Administration of Ports (AGP)
Depth of port: 34 feet
Dredged material: Silt
How frequently maintained: Constantly.
Who performs maintenance dredging: The AGP maintains some parts of the port while the entrance channel is being maintained and expanded by a consortium made up of Servicios Maritimos LTDA SA Servimagnus SA Rowing SA and Servidraga SA
What dredges are used: For the entrance channel: Hopper dredge Hang Jun 4011; for the port the bucket ladder dredges 37C Rio Negro and 32C Tucuman.
Plans for expansion: Eventually the entrance channel and some wharves will be dredged to 40 feet.
How much silt is removed each year: Dredges remove 2.1 million cubic yards of sediment from the entrance channel each year.
Where is it placed: An approved location about 15 miles from the port.
About the port: The port sits on the south bank of the vast Rio de la Plata a wide estuary of the Uruguay Paraguay and Parana rivers. The rivers deposit so much silt in the entrance canal and harbor that simply maintaining the 34-foot depth is a non-stop project. The AGP hopes to deepen the harbor and entrance channel to 40 feet in coming years.
Puerto Callao Peru
Port operator: APM Terminals
Depth of port: Entrance channels 52.5 feet. Finger piers 33 feet. Container terminals 39 feet.
Dredged material: Silt over hard rock.
How frequently maintained: Annually
Who performs dredging: Jan de Nul.
What dredges are used: Hopper dredge Fillipo Brunelleschi and backhoe dredge Vitruvius.
Plans for expansion: Several piers will be dredged to 52.5 feet by the end of 2014.
Where material is placed: In an authorized offshore site chosen by the port authority.
About the port: Callao is the largest port in Peru and it’s expanding. APM Terminals just took over operations of the port last year. They performed a bathymetric survey and discovered that the port was not dredged as deep as they had believed according to Chief Operating Officer Laurids Uglvig. Jan De Nul performs the maintenance dredging and will be deepening the container and general cargo terminals from their current approximate 39-foot depth to a 52.5-foot depth a project expected to be complete in 2014.
Bahía Blanca Argentina
Port operator: Autoridad Portuaria del Puerto de Bahia Blanca
Port depth: Entrance channels and port recently increased to 45 feet.
Dredged material: A mix of clay silt mud and sand. The majority is a fine silt.
How frequently maintained: A major maintenance every five years smaller fixes every six to eight months with monthly surveys.
Most recent major dredging: Began in April 2012.
Who performs dredging: Boskalis International Sucursal Argentina Compañía Sudamericana de Dragados S.A. – Unión Transitoria de Empresas.
What dredges are used: Hopper dredges Beachway and James Ensor water injection dredge DN28
How much material is removed each year: 3.8 million cubic yards
Where is it placed: In defined and approved sectors near the dredging areas.
About the port: The River Port of Bahía Blanca has a 60-mile access channel with a 45-foot clearance in high tide. Major maintenance is conducted every five years and regular maintenance is conducted at least every six months. The next regular maintenance is scheduled for October.
Puerto Valparaiso Chile
Port operator: Empresa Portuaria Valparaiso
Port depth: Clearance at the port varies between 20.3 and 43.3 feet depending on the wharf.
Dredged material: Sand and mud over hard rock
How frequently maintained: Sporadically as needed
Most recent dredging: 2011
Who conducted that dredging project: Empresa BELFI in the first stage Jan de Nul later. Suction dredges were used.
Where is the material placed: Some is used for land reclamation the rest deposited in an authorized offshore location
Plans to expand the port: In the long term the port will be deepened to 49.2 feet.
About the port: The Puerto Valparaiso has two terminals with a combined eight wharves. Terminal 1 is a container terminal operated by Terminal Pacifico Sur and has five wharves. Terminal 2 has three wharves used for general cargo. It is administered by the state-run Empresa Portuaria Valparaiso.
Puerto Montevideo Uruguay
Port operator: Administracion Nacional de Puertos
Port depth: Between 32.8 and 37.7 feet
Dredged material: Clay
How frequently maintained: Every nine months
Who conducts the dredging: Administracion Nacional de Puertos. They are in the process of contracting the Chinese company SDC do Brazil to conduct some of the dredging.
What dredges are used: Suction dredges D7 and D8
How much material is removed: Between 13 million and 16 million cubic yards
About the port: Uruguay has long had hopes to deepen Puerto Montevideo and several other ports but those plans have been on hold because neighbor Argentina has refused to allow them to dredge the Mitre Channel deeper (the countries share authority over the channel which cuts through Rio de la Plata and leads to Montevideo and other Uruguayan ports).
Rio Grande Brazil
Port operator: Superintendencia do Porto de Rio Grande
Port depth: Internal channel 52.5 feet. External channel 59 feet. Port novo 32.8 feet
Dredged material: Silt and clay and sand
Who performs dredging: Jan de Nul
What dredge is used: Hopper dredge Sanderus
Where is the material placed: The dredged material is placed in an authorized offshore dump chosen by the port authority.
About the port: The Port of Rio Grande is located about eight miles from the mouth of the Rio Grande River in Southern Brazil. Its exports include beef jerky tobacco wheat and fish.
Saõ Luis Brazil
Port operator: Empresa Maranhense de Administracao Portuaria (EMAP)
Port depth: Between 52.5 feet and 82 feet
Dredged material: Fine sand
Who performs dredging: Jan de Nul
What dredge is used: Hopper dredge Galilei
Where the material is placed: The dredged material is placed in an authorized offshore site chosen by the port authority.
About the port: The port is one of the deepest in South America and the largest in Brazil. One of its wharves is a mile long.
The dredging to expand the Panama Canal is “moving forward at a good pace” according to Panama Canal Authority Deputy Administrator Jose Quijano. The project consisted of removing some 38 million cubic yards of material to deepen and widen Gatun Lake and Culebra Cut Navigation channels as well as dredging the Pacific and Atlantic entrances. To date three of the four dry excavation projects have been completed and the fourth project is about 63 percent complete through May Quijano said. The dredging of the Pacific and Atlantic entrances are 86 and 97 percent complete respectively and the Gatun Lake dredging is 72 percent complete he said.