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Jaxport gets US$35 million to dredge to 14 metres - ditto Savannah

THE Florida Department of Transportation has allocated US$35

27 November 2019 - 19:00

THE Florida Department of Transportation has allocated US$35.3 million for a portion of the second phase of the dredging of the Jacksonville Harbour in Florida adding an average of two metres of depth, reports IHS.

For Jacksonville, the largest vessel ever docked was 13,000 TEU, but new dredging will be necessary before the 14,000-TEU vessels can be discharged.



The four-phase project will deepen the harbour to 14 metres in 2023, including the dredging of an 18-kilometre stretch, reaching from the harbour itself out to the triangular vehicle and heavy lift terminal on Blount Island.



This tranche of funding will go toward the second phase of the work, which will deepen a five-mile section of the St Johns River to 14 metres.



Operations are expected to be completed in 2021, with further funding necessary to cover the other four kilometre. This development follows the first phase of the project (Contract A), which is deepening the first three miles and is due for completion in the second quarter of 2020.



The move comes in the wake of similar measures by the Port of Jacksonville's (Jaxport's) competitors, including the Port of Savannah, Georgia, which is also dredging its harbour to 14 metres, as well as Charleston, in South Carolina, which is dredging to 15 metres.



The most recent spate of dredging is due to the new extended Panama Canal locks, which enable vessels of up to 14,000 TEU to pass through. This is one of the developments that has enabled the relatively sudden US shale oil and natural gas boom, making the United States one of the world's largest exporters of oil and gas in a short time period.



Laden imports through Jacksonville in the first half of 2019, rose 0.5 per cent to 171,330 TEU, compared with the same period a year ago, according to PIERS, a data product within IHS Markit.


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