INTUR Chooses Damen CSD350 Cutter Suction Dredger for Nicaraguan Operations
A contract has been signed by EPN, the Nicaraguan Port Authority, and INTUR, the Nicaraguan Tourist Agency, with the Damen Shipyards Group for the delivery of a CSD350 Cutter Suction Dredger. The dredger is to be operated by EPN on a project to create and maintain a 200 km inland channel running along a section of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.
This is the first Damen CSD to be purchased by INTUR, and is designed for heavy-duty operations with a production capacity of 2000 mᶟ/h to a depth of nine metres. It will be operated by Empresa Portuaria Nacional (EPN), the national port authority, which already manages a number of Damen vessels and has a close relationship with INTUR. The CSD350 will be the fourth vessel delivered to EPN over the past year; with a Stan Tug 2608, another CSD350 and a CSD250 all recently beginning operations in Nicaragua.
The CSD350 will be deployed on an ambitious project to create a continuous 200 km channel running parallel to the sea between Bluefields and Bilwi, connecting the north and the south of the country. The existing waterway is a mix of rivers, lakes and some manmade channels running through lagoons and mangrove swamps. However, the rivers and lakes require dredging and the channels need to be completed. In addition, midway along the channel near Karawala, a completely new waterway of around 22 km will be created to link the northern and southern sections. Once completed, the new channel will enable larger and more comfortable boats to use the route and so encourage the local tourism industry.
The vessel is scheduled to arrive in Nicaragua at the beginning of April, equipped with all the necessary equipment, including a 1000 metre pipeline, to operate in this very remote area.
“We’re very pleased to be supplying another Cutter Suction Dredger to Nicaragua,” said Pieter Becker, Damen Sales Manager for Central America. “The close cooperation between INTUR and EPN has been a major factor in this success. Built to the same specification as the other CSDs in the EPN fleet, the dredger will provide a proven and cost-effective solution to INTUR’s dredging requirements.”