Agribusiness & Food, Logistics, Ports & Terminals

Eden woodchip wharf to be fixed by November

Eden’s badly damaged woodchip loading wharf should be fixed later this year which will allow major resumption of exports, a joint statement from Allied Natural Wood Exports and the Australian Forest Products Association has revealed.

ANWE reports that all pre-works have been completed for the jetty repairs, and full repairs are on track for completion by the end of the year. ANWE estimates the repair works and resumption of operations will generate close to $4 million of much-needed economic activity over the next few months in the local Eden economy.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Mr Ross Hampton said ANWE’s efforts to promptly resume exports at their Eden wharf highlights the company’s commitment to the region.

During repairs, non-conventional loading took place from the nearby multipurpose wharf using a mobile loader and truck shuttle. This was put in place by at least sometime before August 11.

ANWE, which owns and operates the wharf – and which is also a wood-products marketer and seller, reported back in early-June that the wharf had been badly damaged.

Parts of the wood-loading facility were washed away by waves over 17m high.

At the time, winds reached up to 25 knots with swells ranging, on average 4-6m.

High winds, high sea states and heavy rain typically happen in the winter months (April, May, June, July) because the local sea water, still warm from the recent summer is subjected to the presence of cold air that moves up from the Southern Ocean during autumn.

Moisture is dragged up from the Tasman Sea and is deposited onshore, which explains the large volumes of rainfall. Winds in the system rotate and so NSW, and its offshore waters, experience strong and prolonged wind gusts if the low pressure area moves slowly. In turn, those strong winds cause high sea states.

According to meteorologists at the Bureau of Meteorology, such a low pressure area, known as an “east coast low”, is a type of system quite typical for the time of year.

Over 831,000 tonnes of cargo, mostly logs and wood chips, is handled through the Port of Eden, which also handles cruise ships.

ANWE bought South East Fibre Exports (the former operator of the Woodchip Jetty) in December last year. ANWE agreed to meet existing chip export supply agreements until 2018.

This story was originally published on ABHR affiliate Lloyd’s List Australia.

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