Mozambique: Dredging of main channel begins at port of Beira

22 October 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 22 Oct – Dredging company Empresa Moçambicana de Dragagens (Emodraga) is dredging the main access channel into the port of Beira in order to remove part of an estimated 7 million tonnes of sediment, according to Mozambican newspaper, Notícias.

Alberto Ezequiel Bila, captain of the “Alcântara Santos” dredger, owned by Emodraga, said that the two dredgers involved in the operation can remove a daily average of 13,000 cubic metres of sediment.

The idea, he said, was to lessen the difficulties experienced by ships entering the port, as the current alternative channel has a lot of bends, which creates a lot of sand banks, and has led to a lot of ships becoming stranded, mainly in the so-called Macúti bend, where large sedimentary deposits are found brought in by the Búzi and Púnguè rivers.

The newspaper said that US$90 million in funding had been secured by the company’s partners for acquisition of two emergency dredgers to deal with the work, one of which will be based in Beira.

Tayob Adamo, chairman of Emodraga, said that the definitive solution would only be found within the next two years, with the arrival of a new dredger from Japan.

“The Macúti bend is teh most critical área that we have been dealing with daily to allow ships to navigate without any major problems, but, even so it has not been easy as ships have run aground. Reopening the main channel is the only solution,” he said. (macauhub)