Pilbara Ports Authority achieves record export numbers

BHP shipping operations at Port Hedland. Image: BHP

Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) has reported a record annual throughput of 717.2 million tonnes for the 2019/20 financial year, thanks to a surge in exports from Port Hedland.

The ports authority, which includes the Port of Port Hedland, Port of Dampier and Port of Ashburton, along with various Greenfield ports operations, recorded a 19.9 million tonnes increase in total annual throughput from the previous year.

PPA also reached a new record for total monthly throughput of 68.2 million tonnes in June, a six per cent increase from the corresponding month in 2019.

The Port of Port Hedland tallied the highest annual throughput out of all of PPA’s ports, largely due to its iron ore exports from the likes of mining giants such as BHP.

It had an annual throughput of 538.1 million tonnes for the 2019/20 financial, which marked a five per cent increase from the previous year.

Annual iron ore exports at the port were 531.5 million tonnes, also recording a five per cent increase from the previous year.

Pilbara Ports Authority chief executive officer Roger Johnston highlighted the record numbers that have been achieved amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am pleased to announce this new record for total annual throughput across PPA’s three ports, which has been achieved amidst the challenges of a global pandemic,” he said.

“The ports of Ashburton, Dampier and Port Hedland have continued to operate throughout COVID-19, delivering safe and reliable marine and landside operations for the benefit of the resources sector and the State of Western Australia.

“I acknowledge the difficult circumstances that vessels and seafarers have faced during the pandemic. PPA continues to provide support, and to assist them, as best we can.

The Port of Port Hedland contributed a whopping $64.1 billion to the Australian economy in 2018–2019, but this is set to increase even further over the next decade, according to a report prepared by ACIL Allen Consulting in June.

The report was backed by figures from BHP, Fortescue Metals Group, Roy Hill, Rio Tinto, Sandfire Resources, Pilbara Minerals and Mineral Resources, and showed that the port’s activities were estimated to pump an extra $26.2 billion to the economy by 2028–2029.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.