Located in the Bay of Sepetiba at some 80 km south of Rio de Janeiro, the capital- and maintenance dredging project in the port of Itaguaí was the first assignment in the framework of the Brazilian ‘Growth Acceleration Programme’ (PAC). This programme was launched by the Brazilian government with the objective to accelerate socio-economic development. The first phase is known as PAC-1, and covered the period of 2007 to 2010. The programme is followed by PAC-2, extending over 2011 to 2014. This second phase is aimed at all major ports along the Brazilian coast. Various tenders are issued to improve accessibility, in order to keep up with the fast economical expansion of the country.
PAC is a strategic and comprehensive investment programe that strengthens management initiatives, local involvement, infrastructural investments, public works and other economic measures as means to stimulate economic growth and promote social integration. The dredging contract at the port of Itaguaí is part of that ambitious programme.
The contract was awarded by ‘Companhia Docas do Rio de Janeiro’ (DOCAS), the port authority of Rio de Janeiro, and had to be carried out under strict health, safety and environmental standards. It called for maintenance- and capital dredging of the 18 km long access channel to the port of Itaguaí, as well as deepening the harbour basin. It was executed between June 2008 and March 2009.
Dredging was carried out by the then brand-new trailing suction hopper dredger ‘Breydel’, which at the time had just entered the DEME-fleet. As a start, the original depth of minus 17,4 m along the access channel was reïnstated (maintenance dredging). Then capital dredging was executed, widening and deepening the access channel to minus 20 m. All material was dumped offshore in a licensed disposal area outside the Sepetiba Bay.