Port authorities in the extreme south Patagonian province of Santa Cruz signed an agreement with a Puerto Deseado dry dock for the building of a floating dock for the Argentine Navy.
The approximately five million US dollars project and 74 meters long dock should be finished in fourteen months and will enable the Argentine Navy to simultaneously moor two of its missile armed frigates, reports the local press. "The building of the floating dock is a milestone for Puerto Deseado because since we finished the trawler "Tabeirón" currently fishing from Mar del Plata, we had no major order, just simple repair and maintenance jobs", said Antonio Torrein, head of the local dry dock Astillero Coserena. He said the floating dock will be anchored at the "zero point" of the port and will help keep the 130 strong work force busy and train new young personnel so they can eventually join the industry. Torrein, who is also president of the Argentine Naval Industry Federation, FINA, said the contract was awarded through a bidding process, following an agreement between the province of Santa Cruz and the Argentine Navy. "In exchange for land belonging to the Navy the province promised to build a floating dock for mooring two missile frigates. We made our presentation and provincial authorities assessed our offer and gave us the contract", said Torrein. However Torrein said the floating dock will also have a very useful commercial purpose particularly when the "squid and prawn fishing seasons". When the Navy's frigates are in high seas, "we can moor fishing vessels and help the industry" he said adding that "it's a great project that will have all the needed services".