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Optimal accessibility for mega vessels

  • 2.8 million cubic metres of material dredged
  • 5.5-kilometre channel has been widened
  • 15 metres deep
  • installing two water pipelines and two electricity cables

Brazil has the largest economy in Latin America. It is expected to become the fifth largest economy in the world in the next few decades. This is partly due to an abundance of natural resources such as oil and iron ore. In addition, it is a global player with regard to the export of agricultural products such as grain, coffee and sugar. It is therefore vital to arrange the infrastructure optimally in order to facilitate export growth and consequently the intended economic growth. Van Oord has been playing a crucial role for decades in creating and preserving accessibility to the most important ports in Brazil.

Improved port access

With more than six million inhabitants, Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil. The metropolis is situated on a wide bay, the Bay of Guanabara. From June 2016 to March 2017, Van Oord has been deploying a range of modern equipment to widen the access channel over a distance of 5.5 kilometres. In the course of several months, more than 2.8 million cubic metres of material was dredged on the instructions of the federal government of Brazil. As a result of the widening, the port of Rio de Janeiro is now accessible to super post panama vessels.

The widening of the access channel offers the port of Rio de Janeiro the opportunity for further expansion and therefore contributes to the local economy.

Tim Helbo, Van Oord's Area Manager South America
Tim Helbo, Van Oord's Area Manager South America

Varied ecosystem

‘Our working area was in the Bay of Guanabara. This bay is linked to the ocean and has a very varied ecosystem, where dolphins and sea turtles live. To avoid impact, we worked according to an environmental permit that included guidelines with regard to fauna. These rules are, of course, strictly observed. For instance, environmental experts were on board our vessels. They monitored the presence of marine animals close to our activities’, says Project Director Joop Rijkers.

Piaçaguera channel

Van Oord has been active in Brazil for decades and has completed more than forty dredging and marine engineering projects along the Brazilian coast. Since 2013, maintenance work has been carried out in the port of Santos and we are currently performing dredging work in the Piaçaguera area. As part of this work, the channel that leads to the last terminals – located near the mountain chain that separates Santos from the metropolis São Paolo – is being deepened to allow access to larger vessels.

Additional information
  • Start date
    June 2016
  • End date
    March 2017
  • Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Business Unit
  • Client
    The federal government of Brazil