Posted on June 6, 2022
After the crew overcame the covid-19 infection, activities resumed uninterrupted 24 hours a day
The activities of the dredger ‘Xin Hai Hu 9’ They picked up last weekend. Photo: archive/Colprensa.
The weather conditions in Barranquilla continue to be adverse and although since last weekend the dredger Xin Hai Hu 9, owned by the Dragado Consortium Canal de Barranquilla 2021-2022, made up of Shanghai Dredging C.O. and Ingecon S.A., has been working on the removal of sediments in Bocas de Ceniza in the Colombian port, the situation is not improving.
And, despite the fact that the Port Association of Barranquilla (Asoportuaria) has highlighted the stability of the last few months in the conditions of the access channel, this was interrupted by the contagion by covid-19 on the part of the dredger’s crew, which coincided with the increase in the flow of the river that caused a decrease in the draft operational.
In this regard, the captain of the Port of Barranquilla, Jesús Zambrano, highlighted that since Saturday, May 28, when dredging activities resumed, there has been a high level of sedimentation, since, according to what El Heraldo told him, “The monitoring we have done has not shown a substantial improvement”.
Zambrano added that the dredger –since Tuesday, May 31– has been carrying out work 24 hours a day : “He hadn’t worked like this because he didn’t have a full crew. The shifts weren’t enough for him to work like this, but with the 24-hour shifts he is going to show improvements in the access channel and this will have a significant impact”.
From Asoportuaria, its director, Lucas Ariza, indicated that the bathymetry that was carried out this Monday, May 30, showed that the conditions are similar to those that led to reducing the draft. “Even working those two shifts it became clear that if we had not resumed on Saturday we would have a worse draft. This has been a very strong blow. At least three ships have had to lighten cargo and about six have had delays. It is very serious in terms of the image of the port”.
For their part, Cormagdalena confirmed that initially dredging was resumed with 16-hour shifts; however, as of Tuesday, May 31, the dredger returned to work 24 hours a day, as it had been doing during the first half of the year. Regarding the level of sedimentation in the access area to the Port of Barranquilla, the entity pointed out that it is related to the rainy season, which increases the level of sedimentation.
“Currently, the sedimentation rate is around 9,000 cubic meters per day and according to the last measurement observed by the CIIC [Magdalena River Research and Engineering Center] it was at an average of 6,000 cubic meters per day, which shows the upward curve that is registered for this season of the year”, they indicated from the entity.
On the other hand, Asoportuaria warned in a statement that there is uncertainty due to “the new postponement of the PPP schedule for the recovery of the Magdalena River, which according to the latest change, should remain awarded at the end of July and signed on August 2 of this year”.
They also indicated that they would assist “in the popular action initially established by the Attorney General’s Office of the Nation, with the purpose of ending the violations and threats to the collective rights of dockers and port terminal users”.
It is worth remembering that Cormagdalena and Findeter signed an addendum for the budget addition of more than $32 billion for the dredging of the access channel. In addition, Findeter finalizes the administrative and legal procedures with the Barranquilla Canal Dredging Consortium made up of Shanghai Dredging C.O. and Ingecon S.A. for an addition to the current contract.