BHP Billiton says it has approved US$240 million in funds to purchase new tugs and construct and upgrade related harbor facilities at Port Hedland, home to the world’s largest iron ore loading port.
The investment will be used to purchase six additional tugs and construct a new eight pen Tug Harbour at Hunt Point in the Port Hedland Port. It will also include the upgrade of workshop facilities, operational and service berths and two small boat moorings at the existing Nelson Point Tug Harbour.
SEE ALSO: Tug Ops in Port Hedland
“The project will mitigate the risk of a channel blockage by ensuring the continued safe escort of vessels in and out of the Port Hedland Inner Harbour,” commented BHP Billiton Iron Ore President, Jimmy Wilson. “This project will enable BHP Billiton to safely meet projected demand for tug services and effectively manage shipping risk for all users of the Port Hedland Port.”
BHP says the new Tug Harbour will improve upon previous designs with the facility requiring minimal dredging and marine-based infrastructure and having less environmental and visual impact.
Construction is scheduled to commence in the December 2015 quarter and is expected to be complete in the September 2016.