Van Oord has been awarded a contract for dredging a navigation channel in the River Niger. The river must be made navigable during the dry and wet seasons from Warri at the Atlantic coast to the train terminal in Baro in Central Nigeria.
President Yar Adua of Nigeria announced Nigeria's economy will rank in the top 20 of the world by the year 2020. In order to realise this national ambition the government has launched seven spearhead policies and one special project, a navigation channel in the River Niger. Van Oord will dredge 226 km of the total length of this project from 550 km.
The project is split up in two phases and will run for three years. The first phase comprises of capital dredging and construction of groynes and installation of hundreds of navigation buoys. More than 500,000 tonnes of rock have to be handled. The second phase is scheduled to be two years maintenance dredging after completion of the first phase. Two cutter suction dredgers will be working together on the project. The total contract value amounts to EUR 125 million.
The project ends at Baro. From here vessels can sail further upstream thanks to the presence of large dams and sluices in the upper Niger River. Once the 550 km of the lower River Niger is navigable, Van Oord contributed to boost maritime transport in Nigeria. Vessels may sail with this service from the ports at the Atlantic Ocean even far into neighbouring country Niger.
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