Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) has collaborated with Fortescue Metals Group to begin shipping operations at Lumsden Point in Port Hedland, Western Australia.
The general cargo and logistics hub received its first vessel bearing cargo for the Iron Bridge magnetite project – a joint venture between Fortescue Metal Group subsidiary FMG Magnetite and Formosa Steel – 145 kilometres east of Port Hedland.
PPA chief executive officer Roger Johnston said this was a promising start ahead of bigger and better things at Lumsden Point.
“Lumsden Point is envisaged to become a multi-user facility and logistics hub that will alleviate the demand on existing cargo berths at the Port of Port Hedland,” Johnston said.
“This will help support direct shipping services from Asia, the ongoing development of battery mineral mines, as well as providing opportunities for expanding agribusiness and proposed renewable energy projects in the Pilbara.”
The Lumsden Point hub has received $143 million for dredging and land development after it was recognised by the Federal Government on Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List.
“PPA and Fortescue have worked closely together to fast-track the delivery of this important piece of infrastructure which in the short term meets the needs of Iron Bridge but in the longer term will be important for all port users,” Johnston added.
Fortescue director of projects Derek Brown said Iron Bridge would benefit immensely from the investment into Lumsden Point.
“The Iron Bridge magnetite project represents a significant strategic investment for Fortescue, and this purpose-built module offload facility will help underpin the project schedule through the successful delivery of large modules for Iron Bridge,” Brown said.
PPA cited a report from independent strategy advisory firm ACIL Allen which found the Lumsden Point development would add about 2.5 million tonnes of cargo to Port Hedland’s annual throughput, with 460 jobs supported by this every year.
Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) should also be lifted by the development, up $9.6 billion over the next thirty years.
Roadworks to connect the hub with eight hectares of nearby land will also begin in early 2022.