TasRail is finalising negotiations with Tasmanian company COVA Haywards to design and construct its new bulk minerals shiploader at the Burnie Port to boost productivity in the state’s mining industry.
The new shiploader will be designed to provide higher levels of reliability, meet contemporary environmental and safety standards, while delivering an increase in load rates per hour to approximately double that of the existing shiploader.
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said TasRail’s shiploading capacity is critical for the state’s resources industry.
“Our world-class miners have the option of delivering their material by rail or road to TasRail’s Bulk Minerals Export Facility that stores the mines’ product undercover ready for the export campaign, Ferguson said.
“The new shiploader will approximately double the loading capacity per hour improving the mining industry’s productivity and efficiency.
“TasRail can provide a fully integrated logistics solution combining rail, storage and shiploading services. The new shiploader will guarantee the export supply chain for existing customers and provide options for new projects.”
The contract is expected to be finalised in August.
It is estimated that there will be 140 full time jobs linked to the design and construction of the new shiploader, making it a major manufacturing project for northern Tasmania.
The key design component will start immediately, followed by major fabrication commencing in early 2022, with the final installation and commissioning planned in the first half of 2023.
“We are very fortunate that COVA Haywards are a Tasmanian company with expertise in the area. Likewise, TasPorts’ support for the project has also been critical,” TasRail chief executive officer Steven Dietrich said.
“This is a complex project, requiring detailed and innovative planning to construct the new shiploader on an existing operational berth. Maintaining continuity of service for our customers is critical.”
Federal Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce welcomed the announcement and said the Australian Government’s $64 million funding commitment for the facility is a vote of confidence in the long-term future of the region’s mining industry.
“Our mining industry is both a major contributor to our state’s GDP and to jobs in the region. On top of that you have hundreds of downstream beneficiaries. This project will benefit everyone along that supply chain. It’s money well invested,” Pearce said.
“TasRail’s current shiploader was built in 1969 and has since loaded millions of tonnes of commodities for export including copper, zinc, pyrite and a range of iron ore grades. With the current shiploader nearing the end of its economic life, the Australian and Tasmanian Governments have worked together to progress its replacement.”
TasRail will continue to maintain and operate the current shiploader for its customers.