Deep-laying dry bulk carriers, which often carry several hundred thousands of tonnes (DWT), require deep water ports to load and unload. As the largest iron ore company of Brazil and the second largest mining company in the world, VALE operates various deep-sea ports and terminals in Brazil. In order to allow safe shipping traffic at all times to these ports, VALE has awarded a four-year frame contract to Dragabras Serviçios de Dragagem, the Brazilian subsidiary of Dredging International.
The dredging frame contract called for maintaining and deepening VALE’s deep-sea ports and terminals in Brazil. The original contract was extended several times and works were executed between February 2010 and December 2015.
For the service contract with VALE, Dragabras deployed middle-sized 5.600 m³ trailing suction hopper dredgers ‘Reynaert’ and ‘Marieke’, as well as large-sized trailing suction hopper dredger ‘Pearl River’. Dredging campaigns including offshore disposal of dredged material were executed in the following ports:
• São Luiz (Maranhão): Maintenance dredging to depths of minus 24 m to minus 25 m in the access channel, the Pier I berthing area and the turning basin. Capital dredging for the new Pier IV at the VALE Maritime Terminal of Ponta da Madeira;
• Vitória (Espirito Santo): several campaigns of maintenance dredging and capital dredging to depths between minus 16,5 m to minus 25,3 m in the access channel, the harbour basin and piers at the VALE Terminal of Tubarão;
• Itaguaí (Rio de Janeiro): maintenance dredging of the pier and harbour basin of the ‘Companhia Portuária da Baia de Sepetiba’ (CPBS) terminal of VALE to a depth of minus 20 m;
• Mangaratiba (Rio de Janeiro): maintenance dredging to minus 20m of the pier, access channel and turning basin at VALE’s ‘Ilha Guaiba Terminal’ (TIG) located at the entrance of the Bay of Sepetiba.