An equal stake joint venture of Royal Boskalis Westminster (Boskalis) and Belgium-based DEME has won a contract worth €110m for the capital and maintenance dredging of the Martín García channel.
The contract has been awarded by the Comision Administradora del Rio de la Plata (CARP).
The channel is located between Uruguay and Argentina in the northern part of the 50km-wide Rio de la Plata estuary.
The five-year contract is expected to be signed in the coming weeks, Boskalis said in a statement.
The Martin Garcia channel canal, the main access channel to Uruguay’s second largest port, Nueva Palmira, and to the Rio Uruguay, is highly exposed to sedimentation due to climate drivers such as El Nino.
Under the contract, Boskalis will make the canal deeper and carry out maintenance dredging to guarantee a safe passage to vessels at all times.
The objective is to deepen the canal to 34ft and subsequently maintain this depth over the contract period. The dredging activities are expected to start in March 2018.
The company will remove six million cubic metres of sand and silt using two trailing suction hopper dredgers and 500,000 cubic metres of clay and rock with a large backhoe.
Over the four years of maintenance, the company will remove five million cubic metres of sand and silt annually with a trailing suction hopper dredger.
DEME was involved in the construction of the Martín García canal in the early 90’s.
Boskalis is engaged in providing services in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors globally, including construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defence and riverbank protection, as well as marine services and contracting for the oil and gas sector and offshore wind industry and salvage solutions.
It has a fleet of over 900 vessels and floating equipment and operates in 90 countries across six continents.