Edinho Araujo, head of the Special Ports Ministry in Brazil, has signed a $70.54 million contract with Boskalis and Van Oord to deepen the navigation channels to the port of Rio de Janeiro, according to the Journal of Commerce.
The two Dutch dredging companies will undertake studies and soundings of Guanabara Bay over the next five months and complete the design for the channel and turning basin.
The dredging operations will take another six months to complete, announced the Journal of Commerce.
Luiz Henrique Carneiro, president of Multi-Rio, one of the two container terminals operating in Rio de Janeiro, said: “This development is great news for the port of Rio de Janeiro and for all those involved in the container sector here. This will allow us to handle bigger vessels of more than 9,000-TEU capacity, which is an increase of more than 50 percent over the 6,000-TEU ships we can handle today.”
This deepening scheme will extend the allowable draft for vessels to 14 meters from the current 12.4 meters, allowing larger vessels to call at Brazil’s third-busiest container port.
The contract comes as part of the National Dredging Program II, under which approx. $1.6 billion is going to be invested by the end of 2015 for dredging of 20 Brazilian ports.