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Dredging project to improve tanker ops at Long Beach

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 -- The Port of Long Beach and the US Army Corps of Engineers announced a $40 million harbor-dredging project to improve navigation for oil tankers and other ships by removing and relocating nearly 1.5 million cu yards of sediment from the sea floor.

The dredging involves four separate locations. The primary focus is a turning basin south of the BP PLC oil terminal on Terminal Island (Pier T), which will be deepened to 76 ft, the same depth as the main channel. The deeper inner basin means large tankers no longer will need to unload part of their oil outside the breakwater to safely reach berth.

The new depth also allows ships to turn safely in the inner basin. Oil tankers must point toward the ocean when docked so that they can quickly move away from the berth in an emergency. The BP terminal is one of the busiest oil terminals on the West Coast.

Accumulated sediments at Catalina Ferry basin, near the mouth of the Los Angeles River, also will be dredged to improve the safety of the ferries between Long Beach and Catalina Island.

The project also includes the removal of contaminated sediments from the West basin, left over from past US Navy operations.

The dredge materials will be used to fill about 12 acres at the northern half of ITS Terminal in Pier G. The newly filled area will be incorporated into the terminal in early 2013 and help expand the use of on-dock rail.

The dredging, scheduled to begin in March 2010, is partially financed by federal stimulus funding. The projects will support 180 jobs for the next 2 years.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.


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