Ecuador's Guayaquil port authority (APG) said dredging works currently underway will permit large ships to enter the port at low tide, local daily El Mercurio reported.
Dutch firm Van Oord ACZ Marine Contractors started dredging of the port in August following several months of delays. The project will take 15 months to complete.
Works involve restoring the 9.6m depth of the access channel, which will open the port to ships with a deep draft.
The US army engineering corps awarded the Dutch company the US$13.2mn contract in December, after six groups presented proposals.
APG is also preparing bidding and contract documents for plans to put the port facility out to concession, having completed a port modernization and concession study in August APG told BNamericas earlier this month.