The private port terminal ‘Porto Sudeste’ is located in the Bay of Sepetiba, approximately 80 km south of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The port has been designed to handle and export iron ore from Brazil’s iron quadrangle to international markets. Porto Sudeste is jointly owned by global terminal operator Impala and Mubadala Development Company who together hold 65 percent, and MMX Mineração e Metalicos SA which retains a 35 percent share.
The new port terminal Porto Sudeste represents the shortest distance between the so-called Iron Quadrangle in the state of Minas Gerais and the sea. The terminal has a capacity for export of 50 million tonnes of iron ore per year and became operational in the second quarter of 2015. Capital dredging and rock removal works were necessary to create the 20m access channel and turning basin required for Wozmax bulk carriers.
Porto Sudeste do Brasil SA awarded the capital dredging contract to Dragabras Serviços de Dragagem, a sister company of Dredging International. The contract called for the deepening and widening of the existing access channel and turning basin leading to Porto Sudeste. It follows a path between several islands within the Bay of Sepetiba to reach the main public channel of the Port of Itaguaí. The depth and width of the channel at Porto Sudeste were increased to minus 20 m and 206 m respectively. The project was executed by the trailing suction hopper ‘mega’ dredger ‘Pearl River’ (24.130 m³) under strict health, safety and environmental standards.
A total of 3,7 million m³ of dredged material was removed and dumped offshore in a licensed disposal area at 6 nautical miles outside of the Sepetiba Bay, with total sailing distance of 27 nautical miles. The scope of the contract included dredging of soft material as well as drilling and blasting of almost 50.000 m³ of granite and gneiss. Rock removal works were carried out with the drilling and blasting vessel ‘Yuang Dong 007’, followed by dredging of the fragmented rock by means of a backhoe dredger.
The contract was awarded in early 2014 and successfully completed well within the contractual period.