Six Transit Systems ferries that carry thousands of workers to and from LNG projects on Curtis Island have a new home, with the newly constructed Gladstone Berthing Facility opening today.
Transit Systems CEO Clint Feuerherdt said the new facility made of a concrete floating dock would minimise the impact on local marine life.
“The floating concrete dock provides a large colonisation surface for marine organisms, which is resistant to tidal wash and change that organisms battle on a natural surface such as rocky shores, shorelines and pilings," he said
“This instead allows them to survive naturally by staying submerged and allowing continuous feeding, which sees the marine environment thrive."
The six vessels moored at the new facility all feature leading environmental components and Feuerherdt added that the Enviro Cats were built with the environment in mind.
The ferries were designed to protect dugongs, turtles and the local marine environment in Gladstone waterways and have a uniquely shaped, low draft hull that glides across the water instead of slicing it.
“These vessels don’t have propellers, and propellers are the main culprits of killing turtles, dugongs and other marine life,” he told Australian Mining.
“They also boast water jet propulsion with less wash, no external parts and thermal imaging equipment, which means minimal risk of injury to marine flora and fauna,” he said.
Feuerherdt said the ferries have lower fuel use per passenger than a four-cylinder car and a pollution-free system with zero overboard liquid discharges.
With two five year contracts to coordinate the logistics for two of the LNG projects on Curtis Island, Transit Systems supply both the workforce and equipment that is required for construction to take place on the island.
First starting work in the area in 2011, the ferries now transport over 1000 workers to Curtis Island daily and are also responsible for the deliverance of other equipment as required.
“This is really our first major project in the resource space but we’ve been a contractor to state governments for many years, so we are quality assured, have safety systems in place and have quality management and we saw an opportunity to apply that to the resource space, “ Feuerherdt explained.
Gladstone Port planning and development manager Gary Carter said the work Transit Systems are doing for the resource companies is an example of how the LNG boom in the state has positive flow-on effects for the community.
“We see flow-on benefits that are set to last for the long-term, “ he told Australian Mining.
“Transit Systems is testament to this and these are the type of things that benefit the community.
“It’s not just direct employment during construction, but long-term relationships that will be developed.
“The establishment of this facility here by Transit Systems is a recognition of that.”
Feuerherdt said his company is active in the local Gladstone community and often help to fund local events and give money to schools.
The company has invested $14 million in local housing in the region and it’s total fleet is worth around $50 million.
“We want to be here for the long-term,” he said.