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SDC finally seals Brazil contract

SDC finally seals Brazil contract

Rio de Janerio: After a six-month delay Shanghai Dredging Corporation (SDC) and the Draga Brasil consortium have finally signed a contract for Reais199.5m (USD$111.6m) with Brazil's port minister Pedro Brito to dredge the port of Santos down from 13 metres to 15 metres.

And ocean carriers - including NYK Line, MOL, K Line and Evergreen - will be among the biggest beneficiaries as the new draught will allow vessels of up to 9,000teu to enter and load to capacity at South America's biggest port, which handled 2.675m teu and 81.058m tonnes in 2008.

The contract was signed with the Draga Brasil consortium yeserday (Thursday) in Santos and part of the contract involves the widening of part of the port entrance channel - from 150 m to 220 m - and this will facilitate the faster turnaround of vessels through the port.

Brito said, "I cannot emphasize too much how important these dredging works are. They will transform completely the logistics of Brazil and turn Santos into a true hub port."

Draga Brasil is comprised of SDC as well as its Brazilian partners EIT Empresa Industrial tecnica, DTA Engenharia and Equipave Pavimentacao. According to Ports Ministry sources the various delays were caused by "the consortium failing to present the required paperwork on several occasions".

The money is part of the PAC initatiave, which Brasilia hopes will improve the country's infrastructure. Draga Brasil has already completed a Reais17M project to (nearly) restore the draught lost in flooding at the southern port of Itajai.

Early last month Brito told Draga Brasil it was in danger of losing the Santos dredging contract if it did not forward the correct documentation "within days".  [02/09/10]