Dredging at the Port of Maputo Mozambique is now underway. As reported by Jan De Nul on May 21 trailing suction hopper dredge De Lapérouse kick-started the dredging works after being mobilized from Durban South Africa.
In late April Jan De Nul Dredging Middle East FZE (JDN ME FZE) a wholly owned subsidiary of Jan De Nul Group based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Empresa de Dragagem do Porto de Maputo SA (EDPM) the main shareholders in the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) officially signed a dredging contract for Maputo Port.
The project is being financed by a consortium of banks headed by Mozambique’s second largest commercial bank BCI (Commercial and Investment Bank). The estimated value of the contract is approximately $115 million. Maputo is located on the Indian Ocean at the estuary mouth of the Tembe River in southeast Africa near the border triangle with South Africa and Swaziland.
This is the second dredging of the port’s access channel in recent years. In 2010-2011 the channel was dredged from a depth of 9.4 meters (30 feet) the designed depth for the channel to 11 meters (36 feet). According to the port this deepening contributed to an increase in cargo volumes from 12 million tons in 2011 to more than 19 million tons in 2014.
This new round of dredging of the access channel will allow ships of up to 80000 tons to enter the port making Maputo Port more competitive in regional and international shipping markets. It is part of the Port’s Masterplan which was developed in 2010 and continues to be implemented. Other parts of the plan include the expansion of the ferrochrome terminal a new grain terminal the expansion of the container terminal and rehabilitation of berths 3 4 and 5. Rehabilitation of berths 6 7 and 8 is currently under evaluation and is targeted to proceed this year as well.
The present dredging operations being per-formed by JDN ME FZE are to deepen the Maputo Port shipping channel from its current 11 (36 feet) meters to 14.2 meters (46.5 feet). The project entails dredging the 70-kilometer (43.5-mile) long access channel from the ocean to the port. A total of 14000000 cubic meters (18310000 cubic yards) of material will be dredged and disposed of offshore.
The operation is expected to take 10 months including mobilization and demobilization. Ac-cording to JDN to complete the works in this timeframe several large dredging vessels will be put into action. Besides the deployment of the TSHD De Lapérouse later this year JDN will mobilized two additional dredges – a medium-sized trailing suction hopper dredge and a cutter suction dredge with two split hopper barges.