22 May 2013
IHC Merwede delivers new backhoe dredger – the ALBERTO ALEMÁN ZUBIETA
On 22 April 2013, IHC Merwede delivered the ALBERTO ALEMÁN ZUBIETA to Autoridad del Canal de Panama (ACP) in Panama City. The formalities were handled by ACP's Contracting Officer, Mrs Regina Donelson, after a successful trial period of 30 continuous days on the Panama Canal.
IHC Special Dredging Equipment, part of IHC Merwede, that specialises in the design and construction of special vessels, such as backhoe dredgers – has completed the contract with ACP for the design, construction and delivery of this innovative backhoe dredger. The company was awarded this project due to the reliable technology at its disposal and an excellent track record following the notable delivery of a previous order for ACP – the cutter suction dredger QUIBÍAN 1.
The ALBERTO ALEMÁN ZUBIETA has been designed and built using the latest technological developments. The vessel 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 programme includes the training of the ACP team to get the best use out of the equipment, maximise profits, and maintain and service the vessel during its operating life."