|Manama:The Ministry of Works (MoW) has completed the first phase of dredging of the Bahrain Approach Channel (BAC), which leads to the new Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP) and other port facilities in the kingdom.|
Prior to the first phase of dredging, vessels approaching Bahrainís port facilities had to navigate via the natural approach channel which had a draught-limiting depth of approximately -12.8m Chart Datum (CD), therefore restricting the access of larger vessels to the port facilities.
The completion of this first phase will help alleviate this restriction by deepening the existing channel to a depth of -15m CD or to the surface of the cap rock or siltstone where it exists above the -15m depth contours along the channel.
The contract for Phase 1 of the works was awarded to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, and is valued at approximately BD11.5 million. During the peak period, five dredgers were deployed for the project, and the total dredged volume reached 4.66 million cubic metres. The contract also included the relocation of 24 existing buoys and the supply and installation of 14 new buoys.
KBSP was a landmark accomplishment in helping the kingdom enter into a new era of shipping, and the initial phase of dredging undertaken by the SPD will help maximise the functionality of this vital port and will undoubtedly provide integral support to the kingdomís Vision 2030.
The second phase of the dredging works will commence in the near future, in order to allow the approach channel to accommodate ships with a draught of -15m to call in Bahrain. The scope of Phase 2 works will be established and subsequently, a separate contract package will be procured.
The Strategic Projects Directorate (SPD) is the body responsible for the management of large, complex and multi-sectoral projects from their inception to hand-over to clients and during the maintenance period