The Philippines: Officials Approve Cebu Port Dredging

The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) will start the Cebu International Port (CIP) dredging project this month after almost two years of delay.

CPA general manager Edmund Tan said the Department of Transportation and Communications already approved the dredging project.

Last year, President Benigno Aquino III ordered the reevaluation of lined-up projects by the legal department. Tan said the legal department later found the bidding to be above board and there was no reason to rebid the project.

“The winning bidder might sue if we rescind the contract, it is an advantage for the government to continue the project,” Tan said.

Tan stated that it would take 11 months to finish the project and before bulk carriers of up to 50,000 metric tons could enter CIP.

He added that the depth or draft at the CIP at present is only eight meters when the ideal is 12 meters to allow cargo vessels from more countries to easily enter the area. The depth of the port can only accommodate bulk carriers weighing 7,000 metric tons and up to 10,000 metric tons during high tide.

The dredging project was supposed to start in 2012 but this was delayed because of the additional requirements.

Earlier in 2013, the CPA conducted a steel sheet piling at the port in preparation for the dredging of the CIP as well as the domestic ports from Pier 1 to Pier 3 after it got the loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines. The dredging project will extend up to the seawaters off the South Road Properties.

Tan also said the port authority has acquired bulk handling facilities with four bagging equipment to accommodate bulk carriers at the CIP.

Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation president and general manager Tomas Riveral said each bagging equipment can fill eight bags per minute or about 350 bags per hour.

This means that a vessel can now unload cargo such as grains and pellets in a day using this technology, instead of four days with manual labor.

Press Release, February 6, 2014

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