30/03/2021 - 15:00

Plan to future-proof Albany Port

30/03/2021 - 15:00

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Government trading enterprise Southern Ports Authority has announced it will spend the next nine months forging a plan to future-proof Albany Port.

Plan to future-proof Albany Port
Southern Ports chief executive officer Steve Lewis confirmed the authority had begun master planning to chart the Albany Port’s development and likely infrastructure needs for the next 30 years.

Government trading enterprise Southern Ports Authority has announced it will spend the next nine months examining infrastructure needs, demand and development options in a bid to future-proof Albany Port.

In an announcement released this morning, Southern Ports chief executive officer Steve Lewis confirmed the authority had begun master planning to chart the Albany Port’s development and likely infrastructure needs for the next 30 years and would seek community feedback.

“Master planning will add significant value to the port’s customers, the community and the wider regional supply chain,” Mr Lewis said. 

“The Albany Port was the first deep-water port operating in Western Australia, and today continues to generate social and economic benefits for Albany and the Great Southern region. 

“Detailed forward planning will ensure the port can continue to play its important role in the state’s economy and supply chain and meet future demand."

The Albany Port Master Plan is expected to be completed by the end of this year.  

Southern Ports was established following the merger of the Albany Port Authority, Bunbury Port Authority, and Esperance Port Authority in 2014 and now has an annual revenue of $149 million and more than 200 staff.

Mr Lewis had alluded to an expansion of the 195-year-old port late last year, when he said there was “substantial capacity” for the port to grow within its current infrastructure and 80-hectare footprint.

The port has played a major role in facilitating trade in the region, exporting 4 million tonnes of grain, woodchips, silica sand, and fertiliser last year.

The last major expansion plan for Albany Port was launched by Grange Resources more than a decade ago, which had proposed the removal of sand to create a new berth and widening and deepening of the entrance channel to support the export of iron ore from its Southdown mine.

Approvals for that proposal have been obtained, but the company is yet to secure an equity partner for a strategic share in the project.

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