THE WA Government has approved development of a new $225million multi-user public berth at Port Hedland.
The new public berth will provide many benefits including: capacity to accommodate small Cape class vessels of up to 120,000 DWT; freeing up access on existing public berths and berthside land to facilitate an additional 1.2 million tonnes annually in new bulk, general cargo and container trade; providing access to export facilities for emerging iron ore juniors; and relocating manganese and chromite stockpiles away from the town, reducing health risks and improving amenity at the west end of the town.
The government said that $105million of the funding, to be sourced from foundation customers by way of prepaid charges and capital contributions, would be applied against capacity at the new berth.
The port currently has three public berths.
The No 3 berth was built in 1965 by Leslie Salt Company (now Dampier Salt Ltd) before it was transferred to the newly created port authority in 1970.
In 2005 the Port Authority extended its No 1 Berth to recreate the No 2 Berth, which was demolished in 1976.
In January this year, the Government approved expenditure by the Port Hedland Port Authority of $9.5million to undertake dredging and finalise conceptual planning of the berth, which forms part of the total development cost.
The new Berth, which will have an annual capacity of around 18 million tonnes, will be located at Utah Point on Finucane Island, on the western side of the harbour and is expected to be operational in the first half of 2009.
The project will require the statutory environmental approvals and the Public Environmental Review will be submitted shortly.