Maputo, 29 June, 2016: The dredging of the access channel to the Port of Maputo, from -11 meters, to accommodate vessels with a sailing draft of up to 14.2 meters on the tide, commenced one month ago and the milestone of one million cubic meters of dredged material has already been achieved. The first of three dredgers mobilized by Jan de Nul Dredging Middle East FZE, the leading international dredging company that is performing this operation, arrived in the Port on the 20th May with the first dredging cycle proceeding on the 21st May.
During the 10 months period of the dredging works, it is estimated that a volume of 12 million cubic meters will be dredged from the channel. On completion, the dredging project will enable access for ships of up to 80,000 tons making Maputo Port more competitive in regional and international shipping markets.
Several dredgers and supporting equipment have been mobilized for this operation. The first one, De Lapérouse, a trailing suction hopper dredger, is currently working 24/7 to ensure a fast and efficient production cycle. A bigger suction hopper dredger, HAM 310, arrived last Friday, 24th June, and the largest cutter suction dredger in the world is expected to arrive in July. Other equipment mobilized by Jan de Nul include split hoppers, a surveying boat, a crew boat and a multitasking boat.
Paulo Mata, Executive Projects, said: "There is a permanent coordination between the dredger and the dredging team involved on the one hand and the port operations on the other hand, in order to ensure the accessibility of the channel. Maritime operations have, of course, priority and the dredging will cause no disturbance to regular port operations”.
Dredging the channel is one of a range of projects embarked upon by MPDC and various terminal operators within the Port of Maputo recently, including the expansion of the ferrochrome terminal, new grain terminal, the expansion of the container terminal and rehabilitation of berths 3, 4 and 5.
The rehabilitation of berths 6, 7 and 8 – which will also allow them to receive vessels of up to 80.000 tons – is currently under evaluation and is targeted to proceed in 2016. These developments will enable the port to meet growing demand and achieve significantly higher volumes per annum.
Major investment in infrastructure, equipment and staff were initiated after the change in the shareholder structure in 2008 when Grindrod and DP World took over management of MPDC. This is the second dredging of the access channel to the port. In 2010/2011, it was dredged from -9.4 meters (depth designed for the channel) to -11 meters which helped increase cargo handled from 12 million tons in 2011 to over 19 million tons in 2014.
Press release Wednesday 29 June