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Concern in Uruguay about the progress of the Magdalena Canal

By Augustin Barletti

Under the title “Argentina defines financing of US$291 million for opening works on the Magdalena Canal. Investment will increase competitiveness with the Port of Montevideo,” the Uruguayan press is closely following what is happening on the other side of the River Plate.

Citing the note from Transport & Cargo, the newspaper El Observador highlighted that the new navigation route would strengthen the economy and promote the entry of foreign currency to Argentina, as a result of the provision of services to ships that are currently provided from Uruguay.

Read also: Check out our coverage on Uruguay

The media also pointed out that “currently, the Punta Indio channel is the only way to enter the ports of the Río de la Plata and Paraná.

Therefore, all overseas ships transit through it. This channel directly connects Montevideo with the main channel navigation of the Río de la Plata.”

intention, Concern in Uruguay about the progress of the Magdalena Canal
Uruguay accepted that Argentina begin dredging in Magdalena Canal in exchange for approval to deepen the channel of access to the port of Montevideo (Photo internet reproduction)

Without hesitation, the Uruguayan press warns that “the intention to carry out the dredging works in the Magdalena Channel will allow Argentina to have a new maritime route further away from the port of Montevideo and closer to the ports of Buenos Aires and La Plata, obtaining better efficiency and shorter navigation times, empowering the port of Buenos Aires, which will be able to dispute cargo with Montevideo.”

In addition, Uruguay should take charge of the maintenance of Punta Indio (currently it is carried out by Argentina).

For this, it must present a formal request to the Administrative Commission of the Río de la Plata (CARP) and have the approval of the Argentine delegation.

“Without that go-ahead, you won’t be able to do the maintenance.”

If this scenario is not enough, Uruguay remembers that decisions that include modifications in the Río de la Plata must necessarily go through the CARP.

Uruguay accepted that Argentina begins dredging in Magdalena Canal in exchange for approval to deepen the access channel to the port of Montevideo.

The intention was to take it to a depth of 14 meters, but at the time of submitting the request 13 meters were requested, which was accepted by the other delegation.”

Months ago, the president of the National Ports Administration (ANP) of Uruguay, Juan Curbelo, reported that work is already being done on preparing the documentation to formalize the request for greater depth.

Port operators relieved by El Observador, commented that, given the Argentine government’s decision to advance with the Magdalena Canal, the port of Montevideo would have to redouble efforts to deepen the access channel.

With the 14 meters and the specialized terminals for bulk (Obrinel), containers (TCP), and cellulose (UPM), will be in a position to have a better position and be an alternative to provide cargo transshipment logistics services and provide added value to its operations.

Magdalena Canal (called in the picture Nuevo Canal in comparison to the Punto Indio Canal via Montevideo. (Photo internet reproduction)
Magdalena Canal (called in the picture Nuevo Canal compared to the Punto Indio Canal via Montevideo. (Photo internet reproduction)


“We will have to see when the time comes if the Magdalena Canal materializes and, if it does, what users think about the advantages of using it or continuing to use the Punta Indio Canal,” Horacio Lannes, general manager of the ANP, told Transport & Cargo.

The interesting thing about the case is that the forthcoming commissioning of the Magdalena Canal aroused a healthy competition on both banks of the River Plate that ultimately will end up benefiting the foreign trade players since they will have more options and variables to carry out the entry and exit to the Trunk Navigable Way system.

For more information, you can request the book “La Hora del Canal Magdalena” free of charge at the e-mail [email protected]

Its electronic format where the complete documents that justify the project are linked can be downloaded free of charge here.

With information from Cronista

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