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Private sector supports dredging Santos to 17 metres for mega ships

A CAMPAIGN dubbed "Santos 17" to deepen the Brazilian port to 17 metres from 13 in order to dock 13,000 TEUers has received the backing of all the main terminal operators.

Private sector supports dredging Santos to 17 metres for mega ships
26 April 2015 - 18:27
Private sector supports dredging Santos to 17 metres for mega ships

A CAMPAIGN dubbed "Santos 17" to deepen the Brazilian port to 17 metres from 13 in order to dock 13,000 TEUers has received the backing of all the main terminal operators.

"We are bringing together all terminal operators, general cargo, bulk and containers, together to ask the market and the authorities, ‘Where can we go with this?'" said Brasil Terminal CEO Portuario Antonio Passaro. "With Santos 17 we want to help the port authority and the port ministry to see what can be done, and they are having their own discussions, too."

According to Mr Passaro and Angelino Caputo e Olivera, president of Codesp, the port authority is "very interested" in the effort, reported Newark's Journal of Commerce.

By 2017, the 13,000- to 14,000-TEU vessels on the major east-west routes will be replaced by 20,000-TEUers. The smaller ships will then be cascaded down to north-south trades, Mr Passaro said.

"Ships in the 13,000-TEU range have to go somewhere, and I want them to come here - if not all them at least some," Mr Passaro said. "They can never enter Montevideo and Buenos Aires, but those ports can be served via transshipments."

"Dredging is one of the most important subjects for Codesp, and we want to find a solution for the problems we have here," Mr Caputo said. 

"Because we are located in an estuary we have heavy sedimentation, maybe 18 million cubic metres every year, so maybe the answer is more regular dredging."

He said studies are needed to determine if the harbour can be dredged safely to 17 metres given the uncertainties surrounding the physical and environmental feasibility of the planned dredging.

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