From poor condition to the most efficient port in the Caribbean

An extensive modernisation

Port Modernisation Paramaribo

Suriname’s economic prosperity depends to a large extent on the port in Paramaribo. The existing port was more than 40 years old and having been badly maintained, had fallen into a poor state of repair. Furthermore, it was only capable of handling bulk goods and not shipping containers. We were awarded the contract to undertake the extensive modernisation of the port.

  • 35 cm thick concrete deck
  • 1,250 kilometres of vertical drainage systems
Our work involved modernising the mooring facilities and repairing the concrete deck by casting a new 35 cm thick concrete deck over the top. We also stabilised the area of the port and the drainage facilities behind the deck and supplied and installed various mechanical and electrical installations, which means the port is now suitable for containers, refrigerated loads and wheeled vehicles.


Stabilising the area behind the deck was an important part of this project. The old port had been built on a bed of silt and clay deposited over the centuries by the Suriname River. Our aim was to reinforce this soft ground using an accelerated process to ensure it can withstand the heavy loads handled at a modern port. To this end, 1,250 kilometres of vertical drainage systems were installed and a layer of sand more than three metres deep was laid in phases over the entire area. It had to settle for about a year.

No interruption to port activities

Over the preceding decade, the country’s economy had suffered greatly, which meant that this work was badly needed in order to improve the national financial situation. Weekly consultation with stakeholders ensured that the port could continue to operate without interruption. Thanks to this modernisation project, the economy has flourished and jobs have been created, which has had a positive impact on the country’s prosperity. The project has provided a much needed boost and the port has even won a number of awards, including being crowned the most efficient port in the Caribbean. This was a source of great pride, both for us and the people of Suriname.

More information?

Roy van Eijsden

Managing Director Ballast Nedam International Projects

Roy van Eijsden has 20+ years of experience and has worked on six continents. His motivation: continuous improvement of the countries and living environments where he works.

Roy van Eijsden Directeur Ballast Nedam International
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