Argentinian Port Administrator Consorcio de Gestión de Puerto Quequén has awarded a four-month dredging contract to Jan de Nul. The deal was symbolically inked, as the princess Astrid of Belgium attended a ceremony along with a Belgium delegation of about 100 people at the local Alvear Palace in the city of Buenos Aires. The project will deepen both the interior and exterior access channels of Port of Quequén to 50 feet. When completed, the project will allow larger vessels of up to 46 feet to dock at the facility. The contract was officially signed on June 1 in Buenos Aires by Dr. Arturo Rojas, president of Consorcio de Gestión de Puerto de Quequén, and Bob Michta, manager for Jan de Nul in Argentina.
Other Belgium officials attending the ceremony included: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Didier Reynders; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Employment, Economy and Consumer Affairs Kris Peeters; as well as other Belgium ministers and the European press.
“We will start dredging in October-November and finish within four months. Additionally, we will maintain the depth of the port during the next seven years,” Michta said. “This contract shows that Argentina is open for investments, fully financed by the private sector,” he said. After completing deepening dredging works, Jan De Nul will also maintain the depth of the port during 12 maintenance campaigns over a 7-year period, as previously reported by International Dredging Review (IDR). Jan de Nul will use cutter suction dredge (CSD) Ibn Battuta as well as trailing suction hopper dredge (TSHD) Vitus Bering in the deepening dredging project.
The Port of Quequén is one of Argentina’s largest ports. As Argentina’s primary grain port, the Quequén facility should boost investments in Argentina, which is also one of the largest grain producing regions in the Americas.