Dredging of Maputo harbour completed

Jan 8, 2004
Author: P&S

Work on dredging the Polana and Xefina approaches to Maputo and Matola harbour in Mozambique has been completed by Mascarenes Dredging & Management (a member of the Dredging International Group) with the depth of the port’s access channels being restored to 9.4 metres and the minimum channel width 100m.

The work was commenced on 9 December and has been completed three weeks ahead of schedule. The ocean-going dredger employed has since left to start a new contract on the Southern African Atlantic coast.

“The dredging programme went smoothly from the beginning. The large trailer suction dredger was operated 24 hours a day, including throughout the Christmas and New Year holidays, by a highly professional crew and that is why the job was completed well ahead of schedule,” says Ken Shirley, MPDC’s Operations Director.

“We thank the local maritime community for understanding the importance of the dredger’s intense work programme and, in particular, the fishing and tourism industries for co-operating to avoid unnecessary delays.”

Shirley said the dredging of the Polana and Xefina channels is an important milestone for Port Maputo.

“It means that large vessels with 12m draft can now use the channels and that we can berth and sail deeper-draft vessels by day and night throughout the tidal cycle. With every passing day Port Maputo is becoming more versatile in the range of services it can offer to Customers.”

Another significant improvement to port services will be the arrival today (Thursday 8 December) of a new pilot cutter. With a top speed in excess of 30 knots the 10m semi-rigid craft will deliver pilots to incoming ships much faster than previously. The new boat was built in Durban and will go into service later this week.

According to CEO Alec Don 2004 will be a very exciting year for Port Maputo.

“With completion of this major channel dredging, MPDC will now move into a regular programme of maintenance dredging. Restoration of the port’s capacity, coupled with the introduction of new tugs and improved pilotage equipment, as well as considerable investment in shore-side handling equipment means that the port is now rapidly re-emerging as a corner-stone of the region’s transportation infrastructure, a fact which is becoming increasingly apparent to South African exporters located on the Maputo Corridor.”

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