Good bye to old dredge Mindi
PANAMA. The Panama Canal Authority(ACP) announced that it had awarded a $95. 92 million contract to a Dutch company, IHC Beaver Dredger...
PANAMA. The Panama Canal Authority(ACP) announced that it had awarded a $95. 92 million contract to a Dutch company, IHC Beaver Dredgers B. V. , to build a new dredge vessel to replace the elderly Mindi.
According to the magazine The Log.com sailors all over the world will be sad when the old dredge is gone.
“Everyone waves to Mindi in passing,” said Pete Stevens, an agent for yachts in Panama. Well known to mariners who have transited the Panama Canal, the 125-foot-long dredge vessel Mindi has been in active service since 1942, working in the Gaillard Cut — the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal — and often moored in Gamboa.
The magazine explains that Mindi’s submerged drill bit operates off a large crane on the bow, and tailings removed from the bottom are directed to shore in floating pipelines. The two-story cabin houses up to 20 working crewmembers at a time.
Tugs are often used to keep Mindi’s dredging end in position, as anchors could be fouled by the dredging process.
Because Mindi’s capacity of 9,000 kw (12,064 hp) isn’t sufficient for widening the Panama Canal for the new generation of post-Panamax vessels, the new Beaver dredge will have a 12,000 kw (16,086 hp) capacity.
To be constructed in the Netherlands, the new dredge vessel will be able to dig down to 25 meters, and it will operate not just in the narrow part of the canal but also in Gatun Lake and both Atlantic and Pacific entrances outside the new locks, according to the ACP.
Meanwhile said the publication, pleasureboaters transiting the Panama Canal over the next two years can still wave goodbye to Mindi its romantic past and its many years of service.
The new Beaver dredge vessel isn’t scheduled to arrive in Panama until May 2011. The Panama Canal expansion is scheduled to be finished in 2013.