A the 50/50 joint venture between Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. and DEME has been awarded a five-year contract for the capital and maintenance dredging of the Martín García channel, located between Uruguay and Argentina in the northern part of the 50-kilometer-wide Rio de la Plata estuary.
The contract from the Comision Administradora del Rio de la Plata (CARP) carries a total value of approximately €110 million ($130 million), and signing is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
The Martín García channel is the main access channel to Uruguay's second largest port, Nueva Palmira, as well as to the Rio Uruguay.
The dredging program’s main objective is to deepen the canal and subsequently maintain a depth of 34 feet over the contract period.
The capital dredging work will be performed in 2018, when approximately 6 million cubic meters of mainly sand and silt will be removed with two trailing suction hopper dredgers as well as approximately 500,000 cubic meters of clay and rock with a large backhoe.
The maintenance contract requires the annual removal of approximately 5 million cubic meters of mainly sand and silt, over a subsequent period of four years and will be carried out with a trailing suction hopper dredger.