The fairway in the Suriname River will be further deepened to 5.4 meters in December. In March this year, dredging companies Boskalis De Boer reached a depth of 4.5 metres. The work was carried out from the territorial waters over a stretch of 68 kilometers up to and including Domburg. Various parties involved put their heads together on Thursday about further deepening the fairway and the associated benefits.
Suriname Communication Service reported that if Suriname wishes to take full advantage of the economic benefits, further deepening of the navigation channel of the Suriname River is required. This was emphasized by several government representatives during a workshop, which was intended to inform stakeholders about the upcoming dredging work, future plans in this area and to determine the needs from the maritime sector.
Michel Amafo, director of the Maritime Authority Suriname (MAS), indicated during his presentation that companies active in the oil and gas industry in Suriname need a deeper channel for their ships. Simultaneously with the next phase of dredging, scientific research will have to be carried out to determine which depth is justified. It will also be examined what the social impact of this will be on society, for example the fishermen. In addition, it will be examined what the effects will be on the environment.
The MAS director emphasizes that dredging is intended to sustainably stimulate the economy of Suriname when it comes to the import and export of goods. By deepening the fairway, ships can increase their carrying capacity and even more large ships can call at Suriname. The deepening is one of the preconditions for attracting more investors to Suriname.
With the dredging to a depth of 4.5 metres, the maximum entry depth at high tide is 7.3 metres. In the yet to come phase for dredging up to 5.5 metres, the maximum entry depth will be 8.3 metres. The director said that the aim of the workshop is to determine what the next dredging depth should be.
Public Works Minister Riad Nurmohamed said that the presentation was very clear. And this project has a perfect PPP, as the dredger finances the project in advance. The users pay for the use of the fairway and thus the investors are repaid and the government hardly comes in said minister. In addition, a consortium of local banks has also received additional financing. This is because the dredging material was almost twice as much as initially determined. For the next phase, which will start in December, local banks will come in with the full pre-financing.