Without the dredge the terminal cannot operate at full capacity, since the stretch of the estuary channel close to BTP still has depth constraints that prevent access by larger vessels and restrict smaller ships. The dredge is expected to take three years to complete at a cost of R$550m (US$233m).
Currently SEP is responsible only for dredging the navigation channel, while the São Paulo state port authority (Codesp) is responsible for deepening the evolution basin (the stretch between the central channel and the mooring points) and the berths. The construction of the second phase of the BTP terminal, for the operation of liquid bulks, depends on negotiations with Codesp.
The first and second stretches of the channel (from the Port entry to the “Big Tower”) have a depth of 14.9 m, allowing the navigation of vessels of up to 13.2 m draught; the evolution basin in those areas does not have the same depth. Although stretches 3 and 4 covering the Paqueta and Alemoa areas have been dredged, their depths have yet to be approved by the Navy.