Malta Freeport Terminals has completed an extensive dredging programme across facilities located within the Port of Marsaxlokk.
Jan De Nul were contracted to carry out the works, enlisting the use of a modern cutter suction dredger.
The project involved the development of a number of port facilities. This includes the dredging of the port’s inner and outer fairway, the inner turning circle, basin manoeuvring area and the approaches of Terminal Two in both North and South Quays. Further dredging occurred at the northern quay of terminal one.
All areas have been dredged to a depth of 17.0 metres, which allows for a maximum keel berthing draught of -16.0 metres to be realised. This depth is more than appropriate to deal with the extra large Triple-E 18,000 TEU vessels.
Close co-ordination between both the contractors, Malta Freeport Terminals and Malta’s Transport Authorities meant there was minimal disruption to port operations, despite the size of the project.
In compliance with Malta’s Environmental Authorities, all dredging works were closely monitored by an approved OMC (Operational Monitoring Consultant) to ensure that all laws of the environmental monitoring programme were followed.
A number of infrastructural developments were also carried out to prepare the terminal for the arrival of much larger vessels. This included the extension of Terminal Two North Quay, alongside installation of rails, bollards and a fendering system.
The expansion could not have come any sooner. With the P3 alliance, which consists of shipping giants Maersk Line, MSC S.A. and CMA CGM, already selecting Malta Freeport as one of their port hubs in the Mediterranean, shipping traffic is set to increase exponentially.