Boskalis, Van Oord and Jan de Nul aren’t the only the only ones who will be sucking vast quantities of mud from the Suez Canal over the next few years.
A consortium between Great Lakes Dredge and Dock (25%) and Dredging International (75%) announced this week it too has been contracted by the Suez Canal Authority to participate in the large-scale dredging project. The company notes the contract is valued at $540 million and involves the widening and deepening to -79 feet of the western branch of the Suez Canal at Great Bitter Lake, Deversoir Reach and Kabret Reach, which is a 25 kilometer stretch of the canal.
Dredging International will mobilize four cutter suction dredges and two hopper dredges and auxiliary equipment while Great Lakes (GLDD) will mobilize its Middle East-based heavy duty, high production cutter suction dredges, the ‘Carolina’and the ‘Ohio,‘ pipelines and auxiliary support equipment.
The vessels will mobilize to Egypt in November and commence dredging operations before year-end. The Consortium plans to complete their scope of the project by Q3 2015.
David Simonelli, President of Dredging Operations, commented on the award,
“The Suez Canal is vital to the global economy, providing the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. This expansion project and the development of the Suez Canal Corridor will reduce transit times and bolster economic growth along the waterway. Great Lakes has a strong relationship and track record of success working with Dredging International, and we are pleased to be partnering with them on this significant project that will provide social and economic benefits to the region and around the globe.”
In parallel, GLDD has also won a contract today in Texas to widen the entrance and jetty sections of the Port Freeport ship channel from the existing 400 feet width to 600 feet. The channel’s reach extends 6.1 miles from the sea buoy to the U.S. Coast Guard station in Surfside and will be a major thoroughfare for LNG carriers when the Freeport LNG export terminal is completed in 2018.
GLDD notes this project will entail removing approximately 3.2 million cubic yards of material, approximately 300,000 cubic yards of which is beach-quality sand. This sand will be used for beach nourishment and placed on sections of the beach on Quintana Island.
Captain James Teeter, President, Brazos Pilots Association, comments:
We look forward to working with all parties during construction. The widening project constitutes a significant improvement and increases the safety margin for vessels during transit of the Freeport ship channel. The Brazos Pilots view this project as an important step in improvements to the Freeport harbor complex leading to the consideration of an increased operational window for vessels.