Glencore’s upgraded export berth a boon for local suppliers

Glencore says the development of Berth 8 at the Port of Townsville has injected more than $20 million into the North Queensland economy.

The $86 million project, jointly funded by the Port of Townsville, Glencore Port Operations and Incitec Pivot Limited will replace Berth 7 at the site and secure the long-term export future of mineral concentrates and fertiliser products.

Glencore say the large-scale project has engaged with a number of local suppliers.

Townsville-based Mineforce was selected as the principal contractor for the site, providing work for more than 66 people.

Mineforce directing manager Martin Hansen said the project was a shot in the arm for the local industry.  

"It's been a huge benefit for us, because things are tough," he said.

"There are some capital works going forward, there is going to be some gap in between, so we are looking at this job and the profile it has given us with other prospective clients."

Hansen said it was exciting to work on a major project in Townsville.

"It's another step up a level for us," he said.

A Glencore spokesperson said the company was committed to giving local suppliers opportunities where possible.

“We are a proud supporter of local industry, with more than half of Glencore and Incitec Pivot’s $41 million investment in the project going to North Queensland businesses,” the spokesperson said.

“We believe that supporting local suppliers wherever possible is a proven way to maximise the community benefit from projects like this and Mineforce has shown that Townsville businesses are ready, willing and able to cost-competitively undertake the work.”

The spokesperson said the progress of Berth 8 was well on track, with the new site set to be operation ready in April 2014.

The upgraded facilities will have the ability to deliver 2.5 times more shiploading capacity.

In 2012 Glencore Port Operations shipped a total of 1.54 million tonnes of concentrate from the site.

The Port of Townsville has contributed $45 million to the berth’s civil and marine upgrades as part of their $118 million inner harbour expansion.

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