The Rio de la Plata Administrator Commission (CARP), a bi-national commission of Argentina and Uruguay, has awarded a Boskalis consortium the $128.9 million contract to dredge the Uruguyan Martín García Channel in early February.
The deal was awarded to a consortium, made up of Boskalis International B.V, and DEME Group’s Dredging International, for a five-year term, effective on February 1, CARP said.
The deepening and maintenance dredging contract will bring the channel’s hard boom to 34 and 38 feet. The deal covers the channels of the La Plata and the Uruguay Rivers between kilometers 37 in Barra del Farallón and kilometer 0 in the Uruguay River.
Boskalis had already won a similar project in October 2016, as previously reported by International Dredging Review (IDR).
At the time, Boskalis International S.A signed a deal with CARP to dredge the same Uruguayan channel for a six-month term. The project aimed to recover and keep the navigability of the deep waterway that cut through the otherwise shallow Rio de la Plata at 9.75 meters or (about 32 feet).
The Martín García channel is the entry to the Uruguay River. Its counterpart, the Emilio Mitre channel, accesses the Paraná river from the Buenos Aires entrance channel.
While competing for the five-year contract, the Boskalis joint venture (JV) outbid other competitors, including the Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors consortium, Chec Dredging Co. Ltd., and Jan de Nul Nassbaggerei Und Wasserbau GMBH.
A CARP’s document on the bids said Chec’s proposal for the project wasn’t accepted.
CARP said the offer was insufficient and inadmissible as it didn’t comply with specific requisites set in the tender.
“Both scenarios proposed by the bidder regarding volumes to be dredge were analyzed, including minimum and maximum values. (We concluded) the minimum scenario was insufficient, since it was below the volumes calculated by CARP,” the bi-national Administrator Commission said.
CARP also said the established Chec Dredging Co. Ltd. legal entity was set to expire in 2021, two years before the 2023’s project deadline.
CARP argued, among other points, that Chec’s proposal lacked the consistency, equipment and ability to respond emergencies.
CARP said the project will be completed in two stages.
First, the Boskalis JV will deepen the channels of the La Plata River between kilometer 37 and kilometer 0 of the Uruguay River to 34 feet and then to 38 feet in the hard bottom areas.
In a second stage, maintenance dredging will take place to keep the channel at 34 feet.
CARP labeled the deal as an “important project” that will allow the navigation of vessels with larger drafts, “increasing cargo possibilities and strengthening the regional and foreign trade.”