Pindan Contracting has secured a $70.7 million contract from the State Government to construct a new Integrated Marine Operations Centre (IMOC) at Port Hedland.
The IMOC will be the centre for controlling shipping at the port – the largest bulk materials export port in the world – providing new briefing facilities, control equipment, port security and provisions for Port Hedland’s harbour master.
John Day, acting transport minister, said the facility will increase the number of vessels through the port to 6000 a year, five times more than the volume when the control tower was first established more than 45 years ago.
On site work on the facility will begin at the end of this year.
The Pilbara Ports Authority is also set to continue works on the $120 million Channel Risk and Optimisation Project (CROP) to minimise obstructions in the port’s shipping channel.
The project is expected to take two years and will involve the creation of a new emergency passing lane, extension of deep water refuge zones for ships and of existing deeper depths along the tidally constrained 42 km channel.
It will also have an extension to sailing windows, creating larger separations between departing vessels in a convoy.
The IMOC is expected to be operational by 2018.