MAY 22, 2013 — IHC Merwede, Sliedrecht, The Netherlands, last month delivered the backhoe dredge Alberto Alemán Zubieta to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) after a successful trial period of 30 continuous days on the Panama Canal.
IHC Special Dredging Equipment, part of IHC Merwede that specializes in the design and construction of special vessels was awarded the now-completed contract with ACP for the design, construction and delivery of the innovative dredge because of the reliable technology at its disposal and the excellent track record established with the delivery of a previous order for ACP – the cutter suction dredge Quibían 1.
The Alberto Alemán Zubieta will initially be deployed for the expansion and then the maintenance of the Panama Canal. She has been conceived and developed to operate in the Canal's Gaillard Cut, where she will dredge blasted rock and heavy soil.
"ACP and IHC Merwede are both proud of the Alberto Alemán Zubieta," says Bram Roelse, Managing Director of IHC Merwede's Dredging division. "It's been a complex project and we have worked together to achieve a successful result. The vessel has immediately started work on the maintenance and expansion plans in the Panama Canal.
"This represents a significant step forward in the use of advanced technology by IHC Merwede. Our life-cycle support program includes the training of the ACP team to get the best use out of the equipment, maximize profits, and maintain and service the vessel during its operating life."