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Dutch ship-builder Damen has secured a contract from Empresa Portuaria Nacional (EPN), the Nicaraguan port authority and INTUR, the Nicaraguan tourist agency, for the delivery of a CSD350 cutter suction dredger.

The vessel will be deployed on a project to construct and maintain a 200km inland channel running parallel to the sea between Bluefields and Bilwi, along a section of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.

Additionally, the northern and southern sections will be linked with the creation of a new waterway of around 22km along the channel near Karawala to allow larger and more comfortable boats to use the route.

Damen Central America sales manager Pieter Becker said: "We’re very pleased to be supplying another Cutter Suction Dredger to Nicaragua.

"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."

Capable of performing heavy-duty operations, the CSD features a production capacity of 2,000mph to a depth of nine metres.

CSD350 is scheduled to arrive in Nicaragua with all the necessary equipment, including a 1,000m pipeline in April.

The company delivered three vessels, a Stan Tug 2608, another CSD350 and a CSD250 to EPN in 2015.


Image: The waterway project site. Photo: courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.