Locatíon: La Plata is situated 48km below Buenos Aires on the River Plate.
General overview: The port of la Plata consists of 2 main berthing areas, Gran Dock and the Puerto Ingeniero Rocca Berth. Gran Dock is principally used by tankers from the National oil fields. Crude oil, petroleum products and liquid gas are handled. There is a refinery which is being continually extended, the pipeline to Puerto Rosales (Bahia Blanca) supplies much of the crude.
There is also a petrochemical plant from which benzene and other petro chemicals are loaded.
The Puerto Ingeniero Rocca Quay is the site of a cold-rolling steel mill where imports of raw materials (in coils) are transformed into cold-rolled steel sheets and wire for export.
Traffic figures: Approx 3,000,000t of cargo is handled annually.
Load Line zone: Summer.
Max size: LOA 215m.
Special permission may be granted by the Coast Guard for vessels up to Panamax size. The following conditions apply:
1 . Daylight entry and sailing;
2. Subject to tugs with an adequate bollard pull being available;
3. Wind speed below 19km/hr
UKC to be a min of 0.4m at all times.
Sea buoys, fairways and channels: The access channel has a width of 50m, dredged to 8.53m. At the present time the bank of the entrance channel has a least depth of approx 7.01-7.31 m.
At the intersection of Rio Santiago and Grand dock, (4 Bocas), where vessel's swing on entry the depth is 9. 1 m.
The Puerto Rocca access channel has a depth of 8.71 m, width 40m, depth in the basin is 7.01 m.
The turning basin at the head of the dock with turning circle of approx 170m diameter is used by vessels that do not swing at 4 Bocas, which has a turning circle of 400m in diameter.
Port Access Channel: New depth at zero datum, channel width 50m. Km. 4.8: 7.33m. / 24 feets.
Pilot: Compulsory. A waiting area, for embarking and disembarking pilots is situated between the bearing 320' and 040' and 2nrn and 5nm distance from the head of the E mole. There are isolated patches of foul ground in this area. Pilots are available from Buenos Aries.
Anchorages: Anchorage is located at the "B" sector of nearby Zona Comun, approx 3.5nm off the breakwaters. Vessels lightening cargo wait at the appropriate zone.
Tidal range and flow: Range 1.0m.
Water density: 1025.
Weather: Prevailing winds: W'Iy.
Principal navigation aids: The semaphore tower and mast 38m in height, is situated near the root of the E mole protecting the approach channel to the port.
Charts: BA 1751. Admiralty Pilot NP5.
The Rio Santiago channel from 4 Bocas to Puerto Rocca is unlit and therefore night navigation is not possible.
Tugs: There are 4 tugs available, 2 x 3,160hp 1 x 2,300hp and 1 x 365hp.
The regulations regarding the use of tugs is as follows:
1 . Vessels less than 52.5m LOA are exempt from using tugs;
2. Vessels of 52.5-84rn LOA that can swing without assistance in the turning basin at the head of the Grand Dock may enter and sail without the use of tugs, otherwise 1 tug should be used on entry.
3. Vessels with a LOA exceeding 84m require 2 tugs entering and sailing.
4. Twin screw vessels with an LOA up to 105m or vessels of up to 11 5rn LOA fitted with bow thruster, require 1 tug.
The above includes the 5% tolerance permitted by the Coast Guard.
Mooring information: Special regulations for Gran Dock require vessels to moor, whenever possible, with the bow outwards facing the access channel, so as to be able to get away quickly in the event of the outbreak of fire.
Vessels that cannot so moor, will be assigned to Berths No 4, 5, 10 and 11 nearest to Cuatro Bocas. All tankers must sail immediately on finishing, loading or discharging petroleum products.
When vessels over 175m in length or with a draft of more than 6.70m have to move stern first in Gran Dock, the Prefecture will previously shift any draft moored on either side of the Frigorifico Armor zone, of over 5m beam.
The turning basin can be used only by vessels less than 175m in length. Turbine steamers over 140m in length entering or leaving Gran Dock, must not turn in Cuatro Bocas or in the turning basin at night time.
Description of berths: