Turkey’s Yildirim Group has announced that its subsidiary Yilport Holding (Yilport) has started the first stage of channel dredging works at Puerto Bolívar in Ecuador — just over a year after it took over the facility.
In a release, the company said that contractor firm Jan De Nul Group’s dredging vessel Filippo Brunelleschi commenced operations this month, with the Belgian trailing suction hopper dredger working 24 hours a day. The deadline for completion of phase one dredging is next month.
Current draft is as shallow as 8.5 metres in some parts of Puerto Bolívar’s access channel, with the channel currently dredged to a flat draft of 10 metres according to Mean Low Water Springs (MLWS).
Four terminal piers are being dredged to 12.5 metres and the new fifth berth is set to be 14.5 metres deep, with this new, 400 metre berth currently being built to permit the docking of larger ships.
The second stage of dredging investment, which will result in 14.5 metres draft in the access channel according to MLWS, is planned to start in 2018’s final quarter, with conclusion planned for May next year.
The Yildirim Group said that Yilport immediately began expansion investments upon taking over Puerto Bolívar in March last year and that Ecuadorian authorities gave their full support for the extension efforts when they visited the port this month, calling for dialogue between all stakeholders to turn the facility into a world-class marine terminal.