Western Australia’s environmental regulator has placed a stringent set of conditions on the Anketell Point port proposal near Karratha, but has recommended the project for approval by the state government.
EPA chairman Paul Vogel said the assessment process for the project had been complex, with conditions imposed to protect flora, vegetation, fauna, surface water, ground water, marine environments and air quality.
“These conditions include restricting impacts to seabed habitats from dredging and undertaking State of the Marine Environment Surveys to monitor and report on potential changes during the construction phase of the proposal.
“Managing light spill from port facilities on turtle beaches and managing vessels within the port to prevent, detect and control marine pests are also included in the conditions.”
The proposal, brought forward by API Management, includes the construction of a deepwater port with iron ore stockpiling, transfer and shiploading facilities around 30 kilometres northeast of Karratha.
API is seeking to export around 45 million tonnes per year from its West Pilbara iron ore project.
The port will have an initial capacity of 115Mtpa, with development to occur over 20 years, ramping up to around 350Mtpa.
Dr Vogel said further studies would need to be conducted for the port’s ultimate capacity, to ensure air quality at Port Sampson and Wickham meets national standards and impacts from additional dredging are evaluated.
“As the EPA is assessing other proposals within the region that will require desalination plants, it is important that the impacts from any additional desalination plants discharging within the Anketell region are assessed cumulatively and appropriate management measures can be taken to protect the marine environment,” he said.