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Article - January 26, 2012
Royal Boskalis Westminster wins US$163 million bauxite mining contract
Thirty years after exploitations at Lelydorp I were brought to a halt due to paralyzing operational costs, the Suriname Aluminium Company (Suralco) is returning to the mine, in partnership with Royal Boskalis Westminster.

Boskalis, an expert Dutch contractor, will excavate 3.8 million tons of bauxite from the mine, and transport it to Suralco’s refinery at Paranam.

Awarded the US$170 million contract, Dutch-based contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster (Boskalis) is eagerly taking on ‘the whole package,’ from the first onsite bush-clearing activity, to final transportation of the bauxite to the client. “It’s a very challenging project,” says Arie van den Adel, Project Manager at Boskalis.

However, Boskalis is not lacking experience for the task. “We have recently completed large-scale projects in Australia and the Middle  East, but this project in Suriname is unique since we are doing the whole mining package for the client,” explains Mr. van den Adel.

Boskalis is a global services provider specialized in dredging and earthmoving, maritime infrastructure and services. It has been involved in the Surinamese mining industry for over 20 years, operating as a dredging company. “We’re doing everything for the client. So as a company, we have grown from being a subcontractor to now being the main contractor,” says Mr. van den Adel.

Boskalis has also dredged for Australian aluminum giant BHP Billiton, and participated in the construction of Wijdenbosch Bridge and recently the expansion of Staatsolie’s refinery, the latter two in Suriname.

As one of the world’s leading producers of bauxite, the Surinamese mining industry is an especially attractive market for foreign investments. “We hope that more projects will follow in which Boskalis can play a role, either as subcontractor or as the main contractor,” declares Mr. van den Adel.

Boskalis is having an impact on the country’s socio-economic development, especially within the Para District. “We created a local workforce,” points out Mr. van den Adel. “We also bring in the latest technologies along with our equipment, and we train people.” In its commitment to social responsibility, the company has created a training center for its workers. Expected to last three years, Boskalis will be hiring up to 150 workers for the Lelydorp I project.

Boskalis’ global ‘Building with Nature’ program, also being instilled in Suriname, will help asses a project’s environmental impacts during the development of the project. “We will execute the work with great concern to the protection of the environment, and will maximize our efforts to improve the environmental standards on the project,” says Mr. van den Adel.