Nigerian Dredging Summit 2008

August 4-6, 2008.

Lagos Nigeria.

Details of this year's
edition of the Summit.

For more information, email us



Dredging International wins Canal contract

THE Panama Canal Authority has awarded its largest contract to date, for the dredging of the Pacific entrance to the Canal, to Dredging International. The Belgian firm's winning bid was $177.5M. Two other bidders, Boskalis International and a consortium of Jan de Nul and Van Oord, had presented offers of $258.8M and $485.4M respectively.

Dredging International will deepen the entrance to 15.5m and widen the channel to 250m, and will dredge the new South access for the construction of the third set of locks, moving about 9.1M m³ to allow the transit of post-Panamax vessel. The work will take four years. (Fairplay)

IHC to build new dredger for Panama Canal Authority

LR-Fairplay's Daily Newbuilding News reports that the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has awarded a contract to design and build a new, more powerful cutter suction dredger to Dutch yard IHC. The new 12,000kW dredger will replace  Mindi which has been in service at the Canal since 1942 and has only a 9,000kW capacity.

In a statement, the ACP said it expects delivery of the new dredger in May 2011, on time to modernise the Canal equipment required for efficient operation. The new dredger will be built in the Netherlands and will have the capacity to dredge along the entire waterway including Gaillard Cut, which is the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal, Gatun Lake and both Atlantic and Pacific entrances, at a depth of 25m even after the expansion concludes. (Dredging News Online).

Port of Seattle over-dredged channels

The Cunningham Report says the Port of Seattle in the US has 30 days to explain why it over-dredged channels at Terminal 30 and Terminal 91.

The report said Terminal 30, which used to be a container terminal that was turned into a cruise terminal, is being changed back into a container terminal. The cruise operation is being moved to Terminal 91 in the upper bay area. Both areas needed to be dredged. The Cunningham Report said the port turned itself in to the Army Corps of Engineers last month after it discovered it had "overshot the mark."

Seaport Project Manager Dakota Chamberlain told the port board Tuesday that the port was attempting to dredge the Pier 30 Terminal waters to 50ft. Although the specifications gave the port a 12in tolerance, the average depth ended up being 51.5ft at Terminal 30 and 52ft at Terminal 91. The Army Corps has given the port and the contractor, General Construction, 30 days to file an explanation of what went wrong.

Boskalis: 2007 was another peak year, outlook 2008 positive

Boskalis has released its latest set of financial results. Highlights for 2007 include a net profit of €204.4 million; turnover of €1,869 million; record orderbook of €3.6 billion; high fleet utilization; higher margins; earnings per share of €2.38 and dividend per share of €1.1. In 2008 the company anticipates high turnover, high equipment utilization, and healthy operating margins. (Dredging News Online).

EU ports continue dredging waste campaign

Europe’s port and dredging industries have vowed tol continue their fight to amend a Brussels directive defining dredged material as waste, according to a recent report in Lloyd's List. It said the European parliament’s environment committee was due to debate an amendment removing silt and other non-toxic dredged material from the scope of the proposed waste framework directive.

Said the report: "Such an amendment was adopted last year, but the fight has continued because the council of ministers, the institution which represents member states, subsequently changed the text of the law so that only maintenance dredging was excluded."

Ports and dredging companies want reclamation dredging included too. Lloyd's List's report said that, without such an amendment, port expansion costs "are expected to rocket" as dredged material would have to be treated and stored in specific areas.

China to step up fight against illegal sand dredging in Yangtze

The authorities in China say they will continue to combat illegal dredging of the Yangtze River in order to protect the fragile banks of the world's third longest river, a senior official has said.

Quoting Vice Minister of Water Resources Jiao Yongzhou, Xinhua news agency said illegal sand extraction, driven by huge profits, was rampant in the middle and lower reaches of the river. This poses a major threat to flood prevention and shipping security. 

Thirteen illegal dredging vessels blocking waterways were seized by the authorities during a crackdown this month.  Jiao told Xinhua that local authorities "had missed opportunities to act," which had undermined overall efforts to stop the practice, and low levels of accountability had worsened the situation. (Dredging News Online.

Caterpillar establishes "preferred supplier status" with dredger builder

Caterpillar Marine Asia Pacific (CMAP) and WesTrac China Ltd (WTC), the Caterpillar dealer for North and Northeast China, have established what they describe as "preferred supplier status" in powering Chinese-built IHC Merwede dredgers.

Said the company in a recent statement: "Since co-operating on the dredger project BeiYa 1 back in 2005, WesTrac China and IHC Merwedei have collaborated on 23 newbuildings for the Chinese dredging market. These dredgers belong to three different models and utilise six different types of Caterpillar engines, with a total 81 units involved." (Dredging News Online).

Van Oord wins contract in Cuba

Van Oord has been awarded a contract for maintenance dredging of the access channel and basin in the harbour at Moa, Cuba. The contract is valued at some Euros 2 million, and the client is Moa Nicel SA. The project was due to start in mid-March and is scheduled for completion in April 2008. Van Oord will deploy the trailing suction hopper dredger HAM 309.

Panama battles to clear canal bottleneck

THE Panama canal is struggling to control major congestion as transit times nearly double to a record 53 hours, while this week’s backlog averaged 93 vessels.  Queues have eased little from their peak in March, when 119 vessels waited as long as eight days to transit the major trade artery. 

That is despite a series of measures to address the backlog, which has occured during its busiest time of the year.  Ships currently face a minimum four-day wait for the 80km journey through the canal. But more alarmingly, the journey time has risen by nearly 20 hours in one month, and now takes an average of 53 hours, based on March operational figures. 

That compares with February’s canal transit time of nearly 30 hours, and 27 hours for the same period last year.  The canal has been dogged by these problems since February, when ship arrivals began to rise above the canal’s advertised capacity of 38 transits daily.  Local agents have suggested that an industrial dispute between the canal authority and pilots that help ships transit the canal may be responsible.  (Lloyds List).

Lagos Free Trade Zone Spends $700 for deep sea port; Development plans widespread across Africa.

Shipping line OTAL says development plans at ports in Africa are widespread across the region. In the latest issue of OTAL's Transport Report, the company said that, in Angola the laying of the first stone to build the new port of Luanda has taken place.

In Benin, SMTC, a Bolloré group company, has inaugurated two cranes in Cotonou port.

In Cameroon the new US$683.5 million Kribi Deep Seaport will be a multifaceted economic hub with four terminals and is due to be built by 2015.

In Guinea, Société des Bauxites de Dabola-Tougué [SBDT], owned 51 per cent by Iranian interests and 49 per cent by the government of Guinea, is due to examine tender offers for the port’s export plans.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the deepest port in Africa with a draft of 17m, is to be constructed by Lagos Port LFTZ Enterprises along the Atlantic coast at Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos, and is due to come onstream by the first quarter of 2009.

The port is expected to cost US$700 million and handle about 8,000 teu at the completion of the first phase. Also in Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State government has concluded plans with a foreign firm, Dersko Marine Group, to construct a US$5.2 billion deep water port.

"And what of future developments?" asked OTAL, noting that after posting 52 per cent growth, Dubai World has embarked on a tour of West Africa, prospecting for new investment opportunities.

The delegation will visit Gabon, Congo, Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Benin. DP World entered the West Africa market last year investing over US$700 million to operate and develop the Dakar container terminal as well investing US$800 million in the 6.5 million m2 Dakar Integrated Special Economic Zone [DISEZ] via its sister company JAFZA International. (Dredging News Online).

VOSTA LMG to deliver engineering and component package for self propelled CSD

VOSTA LMG has announced that it has recently signed a contract with ASL Shipyard Pte Ltd in Singapore for the delivery of an engineering and components package for a self propelled cutter suction dredge, which ASL will construct for delivery to DEME in 2010.

The scope of delivery for VOSTA LMG includes the following main dredge components: a complete cutter ladder; VOSTA LMG wire system spud carrier installation; spuds and spud hoisting system; submerged and inboard dredge pumps, type VL900; Vosta T-system cutterheads; VOSTA LMG dredge monitoring and control system; anchorboom system; hydraulic system.

The self propelled CSD850 will be approximately 97m overall with a breath moulded of approximately 20m, total installed power of 12,860kW, dredging depth of 4m to 30m, 850mm diameter mixture pipes, and a cutter power of 2,500kW. (Dredging News Online)

New booklet on clean-up of contaminated sediments reports that anyone considering (or involved in planning) expensive clean-up of contaminated sediments, the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute has recently published a 50 page booklet entitled 'Deciding About Sediment Remediation.'

The booklet describes a step-by-step sequence of decisions to determine whether, and how, to clean up contaminated sediments, or to let natural recovery occur.

The booklet also summarizes the pioneering work of 26 researchers at four universities in the Great Lakes Basin; a project group who laid a foundation for numerical simulation of sediment remediation processes and cost optimization of sediment cleanup projects.

The booklet is available in a paper copy (at US$20 ) or as a free download (.pdf document) at

Officials at port of Taranto arrested over dredging issue

Lloyds List ( reports that a long-running controversy over dredging regulation at Italy’s ports has taken a dramatic with the arrest of two leading figures at the port of Taranto in connection with an investigation into the alleged illegal disposal of dredged spoils.

Michele Conte, president of the Taranto port authority and Capt Giancarlo Russo, manager of the Evergreen-controlled Taranto Container Terminal, along with TCT manager Antonio Poli, were placed under house arrest earlier this week following an arrest order from Taranto prosecutors on a range of charges.

The report by Lloyds List said the charges include abuse of office and unauthorised management of refuse.

"Some initial reports suggest they relate to an alleged attempt to pass off the dredging of 80,000 cubic metres of mud to deepen berths at TCT as simple maintanence dredging, thus avoiding the need for time-consuming and potentially problematic environmental permitting," said Lloyd List.

New port proposed in Louisiana reports that a Bill in the Louisiana state legislature to build a massive port in Plaquemines Parish would be the single largest economic development project in Louisiana history, according to the Bill’s author, Senator A G Crowe.

The report noted that by 2014, the Panama Canal will be widened and deepened, allowing more containerships to the Gulf of Mexico. “It’s the cheapest way to get goods into the United States,” said Senator Crowe.

“There are literally hundreds of ships that can't get into any port in the  United States,” Crowe said, “because of the draft that's necessary.”

By building a port 20 miles south of Venice – where the Mississippi River is already 70ft deep – the port would be deep enough, plenty deep enough, for the vessels Crowe wants, and, he believes, no dredging would be needed to accommodate the ships.

The port would not compete with the Port of New Orleans or any other port upriver, rather the port would feed those upriver, said Crowe, whose goal is to have the port ready by 2014.

Jan de Nul awarded contracts worth in excess of Euros 1 billion

Jan De Nul Group has recently been awarded several contracts around the world which together are worth in excess of Euros 1 billion.

The projects will be executed in markets such as Peru, Trinidad and Brazil.

Among the contracts is a deal with Qatar Petroleum for the extension of the port of Mesaieed. The contract was awarded to a consortium of Jan De Nul and STFA and is worth Euros 330 million. The work consists of the construction of an additional 350m quay wall which will be used for unloading aggregates for the booming concrete market in Qatar.

The dredging part of the deal consists of the excavation of 5 million m³ of relatively hard rock that has to be dredged to a depth of -15.5m and reclaimed over a distance of 4.5km. The total duration of the contract including the civil works is two years.

The dredging work will be executed by the cutter suction dredger JFJ De Nul from September this year and will take about 11 months to complete.



2nd Quarter 2008

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Nigerian Dredging Summit 07

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The Lagos State-Federal Government Tussle on Inland Waterways.

The tussle over who controls inland waterways in Lagos State is now at the front burner. A serious dialogue between Lagos State Government officials and those of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, especially the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA is afoot. The Presidency has advised its negotiators to seek ways to arrive at mutual agreements over all contentious issues. As a last resort, the Presidency thinks that a recourse to the Supreme Court for interpretation of extant laws on the matter is advisable. More...

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