After long and hectic months of waiting, the Government of Colombia has given free rein to dredging the Bay of Buenaventura.
The formal announcement was made in Cartagena last week by Transport Minister, Germain Cardona, who said that “in April the work will begin of deepening the access channel to Buenaventura Bay, with an investment of around $30 million, it will allow the port to be more competitive and give better opportunities for trade on the Pacific.”
Cardona, however, refused to give details on the type of contract made and the company that will do the work, nor the delivery time and how it will be funded.
The Regional Port Society of Buenaventura, SPRBUN, is the company that has more options to finance the dredging. The idea is to excavate to a depth in the bay of 12.5 meters. After reaching this goal, they will try to get 13.5 meters because now, at low tide the depth is 9.2 meters, a level considered critical, threatening the arrival of large merchant ships.
For that reason, last year 53 vessels failed to enter the terminal because of their huge dimensions.
Domingo Chinea, manager of the Port Society of Buenaventura, said, “We have reiterated to the port community of Buenaventura the Government’s intention of dredging in the shortest time possible.”
The port is currently running a preliminary dredging to 10.5 meters deep through a contract with Valley University Foundation for the sum of $8,000 million.
This post is also available in: Spanish