Friday, December 21, 2018

Dredging Contract Will Allow Port Access to Larger Container Ships and Bulk Vessels

25 Year Agreement to Deepen and Maintain Access Channel
Shipping News Feature
ECUADOR – The government of Guayaquil in Ecuador recently agreed a contract with the Luxembourg-based Jan De Nul Group for a 25-year concession to deepen and further maintain the 95-kilometre long access channel leading to the port of Guayaquil. The port authority of Guayaquil, Autoridad Portuario de Guayaquil (APG) issued a 20-year operating concession for the Container and Multipurpose Terminals in the port to Philippine outfit International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) until 2027. The dredging is to accommodate a larger class of container and bulk cargo vessels.

With dredging works expected to be completed within the first year of the concession, ‘mega’ vessels will soon be able to enter the Port of Guayaquil, guaranteeing a new authorised draft of 12.5 metres at high tide, and 7.5 metres at the Guayas River. The ‘Los Goles’, a famous rock causing a bottleneck in the offshore section of the channel, will also be removed.

Contecon Guayaquil SA (CGSA), the Ecuadorian subsidiary of ICTSI, welcomed the recent signing of the dredging concession, which it said would ‘ensure the progress not only of Guayaquil, whose ports will be directly benefited, but of the entire Ecuador’. Jose Antonio Contreras, CGSA chief executive officer, said that the dredging of the Guayaquil channel further boosts the terminal’s operational capabilities, being the only port in the country capable of berthing two post-Panamax vessels simultaneously. He continued:

“CGSA should be able to strengthen its position as the country’s preferred port of call in the Pacific coast that has a deeper access channel, allowing the entry of the world’s largest box ships. We look forward to the arrival of neo-Panamax box ships since the terminal is ready to handle these new generation vessels.”

Contecon Guayaquil is ICTSI’s largest port concession in Latin America capable of handling containerised, general and bulk cargo with a capacity of up to 1.4-million twenty equivalent-foot units (TEUs) annually. More than 12 million tonnes of products, or nearly 85% of goods imported and exported from Ecuador pass through the Port of Guayaquil, it being in close proximity to export zones and agricultural areas.

Photo: Pictured Signing the agreement are (L to R); Jorge Aurelio Hidalgo, Ecuador Minister of Transport and Public Works; Jaime Nebot, Mayor of Guayaquil; and Jan Neckebroeck, Area Manager of the Jan De Nul Group. Photo from the Autoridad Portuario de Guayaquil.