As part of the process of upgrading its port facilities, Yemen GULF OF ADEN Ports CO. (YGAPC) has prepared a project describing the widening and deepening of the approach channel to the Inner Harbour. The primary purpose of this is to serve the needs of ever larger container ships that are calling, or will call. Aden.

The current channel is 185 metres wide and 15.0 metres below chart datum. YGAPC intends to widen the channel to 250 metres and deepen it to 17.0 metres below chart datum. The improved channel will extend 7.4 km (4 nautical miles) from the inner harbour breakwater to the pilot station, and will then lead to the existing 700 metre diameter turning area, which will also be deepened. The project requires the removal of some 10 million m3 of spoil, some of which will be used for reclamation work in the inner harbour. Project finance will be sought from international funding sources.

YGAPC anticipates that this improvement will provide sufficient width and depth for large container ships well into the future and will add to safety margins for the larger bulk carriers expected to call Aden when new grain berths come into service in 2006.

Aden is fortunate to have virtually zero siltation in its channels and harbour areas, which means that there is no requirement for maintenance dredging. Capital dredging was carried out regularly during the last century, deepening the harbour from 6 metres to the current 16 metres alongside at the Aden Container Terminal.


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