30/01/2007 - 15:26

State approves funding for Port Hedland dredging

30/01/2007 - 15:26

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The state government has approved $9.5 million in funding so the Port Hedland Port Authority can proceed with dredging work but has deferred a funding decision on the proposed expansion of the port's public berth, likely to cost about $180 million.

State approves funding for Port Hedland dredging

The state government has approved $9.5 million in funding so the Port Hedland Port Authority can proceed with dredging work but has deferred a funding decision on the proposed expansion of the port's public berth, likely to cost about $180 million.

The funding will cover dredging works and detailed design and costings for the new common user berth at Utah Point, which will accomodate growing mineral exports and general cargo imports.

The port authority plans to use the dredge currently being used by Fortescue Metals Group, which is building its own port facilities at Port Hedland to support its planned iron ore mines.

Separately, BHP Billiton Iron Ore has been expanding its port facilities at Port Hedland.

 

 

The Premier's announcement is pasted below:

Premier Alan Carpenter has today announced State Government funding of $9.5million for a major dredging project for Port Hedland harbour.

Travelling to Port Hedland today, Mr Carpenter said the Panama Berth project would alleviate increasing congestion at the port and meet the growing demands of current and future iron ore and other mineral producers.

The funding will cover dredging works and the design and costings for the new facility at Utah Point.

"This project will prepare the harbour for handling large Panamax bulk carriers at a proposed new multi-user minerals berth," Mr Carpenter said.

"The project will cut a berth pocket 300 metres long by 60 metres wide and 14 metres deep.

"The new berth will have an initial capacity of more than 7.2million tonnes per annum (mtpa), adding to the 6mtpa currently available at the port's existing common user berths.

"This could produce revenue for the Port Authority of more than $30 million each year."

The Premier said the timing of the funding approval would allow the Port Authority to secure a dredge already working on another project in Port Hedland, saving more than $18million in costs.

Panamax vessels, which can carry up to 80,000 tonnes, are the largest that can transit the Panama Canal.

In the year to the end of June 2006, Port Hedland port, which includes the massive BHP facility, handled the largest tonnage of any port in Australia, recording total trade of more than 110.6 million tonnes.

 

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