The widening project for the Australian Adelaide port has been awarded to Dutch dredging and maritime company Boskalis.
The project, awarded by port owner and operator Flinders Ports, was granted the final approval with the receipt of a dredging licence from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Under the EUR 40 million (USD 45.1 million) contract, Boskalis would widen the Port Adelaide Outer Harbor shipping channel to 170 meters from the current 130 meters, and extend the turning basin to accommodate the larger and more efficient Post Panamax container ships. The expanded channel will also accommodate larger cruise ships.
Dredging is scheduled to commence in early June and should take three months to complete.
“We have been working with representatives of the EPA, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), to identify any risks and establish strategies and protocols for addressing them,” Stewart Lammin, Chief Executive Officer of Flinders Ports, said.
An estimated amount of 1.5 million cubic meters of mainly sand and clay material would be removed from the channel and placed in a designated area 30 kilometers offshore.
Port Adelaide is the only Australian capital city port unable to accommodate the larger ships, with the dredging program aiming to protect South Australian tourism and trade and avoid shipping company diversions to alternative Australian ports or land routes for important export trade.
South Australian exports through the Adelaide port exceed USD 5.6 billion billion annually and imports, approximately USD 4.5 billion.