Dredging & Marine Construction

Deepening Dredging Expected for Brazil’s Port of São Francisco do Sul

The Santa Catarina state-owned Port Administrator for the Port of São Francisco do Sul, in southern Brazil (APSFS), which manages single purpose venture (SPV) SCPar Porto de São Francisco do Sul SA, plans to release a deepening dredging tender for the local port near the local Babitonga Bay.
The project is yet to obtain the needed environmental permitting and may cost BRL 231.15 million ($58.3 million US).

“There’s no timeline set for (dredging works) to begin, since there aren’t yet funds for this,” said João Batista Furtado, president at SCPar Porto de São Francisco do Sul.

The project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Impact Report (RIMA) documents forecasted dredging works to take about 8.5 months using trailing suction hopper dredges. However, Furtado said works could take up to a year.

“The project’s completion for a dredging project like this depends on the type and capacity of equipment used. We believe works that large, and with such a profile and proximity with the inert landfill would take as long as one year,” he said.

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Furtado said the project, which has no date set to be tendered, would dredge the access channel of the Port of São Francisco do Sul’s maritime infrastructure.

Environmental consulting company Acquaplan completed both the EIA and RIMA studies, which are now under review by Brazil’s environmental watchdog, IBAMA. Local media had estimated that the studies cost BRL 30 million ($7.5 million US).

The dredged volumes for the project are estimated to reach about 15.6 million cubic meters (20.4 cubic yards).

The deepening dredging project, which also aims to readjust dredging at the port, expects to modernize waterways for the Port of São Francisco do Sul complex, improving navigability and increasing the port’s competitiveness before other Brazilian ports.

The Port of São Francisco do Sul is one of Brazil’s eight largest ports, according to data from the nation’s Ministry of Infrastructure.
The Port of São Francisco do Sul’s improved waterway system, as envisioned by SCPar and designed by Acquaplan, would allow the port to receive larger vessels with a 14-meter (45.9 feet) draft and a 366-meter (1,200 feet) length.

The project plans to “adjust” and extend the curve of the Port of São Francisco do Sul’s access channel, near the Das Graças Archipelago until the Port of Itapoá section, to deepen it to 16 meters (52.4 feet), from 14 meters (45.9 feet). It would also extend the geometry curve of the access channel to 400 meters (1,312 feet) from 220 meters (721.7 feet).

Commenting the specific profile of equipment to be used, Furtado said dredges would need to have a 10,000 cubic-meter capacity.

According to the project’s study, two hopper dredges would be needed for the dredging works. The project is estimated to generate 94 jobs.
Furtado said the Port of São Francisco do Sul dredging project will use federal government funds. “The project can only be executed if there is the federal government’s aid,” he said.

“The cargo growth forecast for the port complex for the next year demands the port authority to effectively work on issues, such as waterway access, docking berths and supporting infrastructure for operations,” the executive said.

“(Otherwise,) we’d be under the risk of limiting larger vessels (to dock), making operations for (these) larger vessels and their cargo more expensive. That would represent a serious impact for both the importing and exporting markets the port complex serves.”

The Port of São Francisco do Sul complex includes the port, a private terminal, and the Santa Catarina state Grain Terminal (TGSC) or the Terminal Graneleiro de Santa Catarina.