Further upgrades announced for Pilbara ports

Port of Dampier

Port of Dampier cargo wharf. Image: Pilbara Ports Authority.

The Pilbara Ports Authority will receive $160 million for a new multi-user wharf and facilities at the Port of Dampier, primarily used to export iron ore from Rio Tinto mines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and salt.

The funding is included in the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility’s (NAIF) investment of $255 million in upgrades to common-user infrastructure, including the Pilbara Ports Authority, to support the proposed $4.3 billion Perdaman Urea project in Western Australia.

“The development of a new multi-user wharf at the Port of Dampier will maximise the use of this important piece of infrastructure by facilitating the Perdaman Urea Project, as well as accommodating bulk carriers, cruise ships, and general cargo vessels,” Ports Minister Rita Saffioti said.

“This investment in the new wharf will also encourage trade diversification by opening up access to worldwide markets for urea from the Perdaman Project.”

The project, located 20 kilometres north-west of Karratha, will convert WA LNG into approximately two million tonnes of urea per year.

Urea is a widely used form of fertiliser that is used in diesel exhaust fluid AdBlue, which reduces emissions for vehicles used in road haulage fleets – a key part of the mining industry.

“Recent international supply chain issues have highlighted just how important urea is to industry sectors such as agriculture and transport,” State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook said.

“Western Australia has the potential to supply these sectors with the urea they need.

“As the first new gas manufacturing project in the Pilbara for more than a decade, the Perdaman Urea project will play a role in helping diversify Western Australia’s economy and create local jobs.”

The NAIF loans build on the WA Government’s support for the project, which has provided $47.6 million for road relocation costs, the detailed design of a new Dampier Cargo Wharf and upgrades to seawater supply infrastructure.

It is estimated the Perdaman project will create around 2500 jobs during construction and 200 operational jobs.

“The Perdaman Urea project is a great development for the Pilbara, particularly as it will deliver around 200 locally based, ongoing quality jobs – strengthening the region’s economy into the future,” Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said.

“We have backed this project also because it develops our manufacturing capabilities and because of its commitment to working closely with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.”

The Water Corporation will receive the other $95 million for the expansion of the Burrup seawater supply and brine disposal scheme that will connect to the Perdaman Urea plant once built.

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