Friday 18th Sep, 2020

Port of Burnie to release shiploader upgrade tenders

The Queensland Government has appointed three additional mine inspectors and another chief inspector as the resources industry responds to recent mine-related tragedies.

Tenders will soon be released for the design and construction of a new bulk minerals shiploader at the Port of Burnie, as part of an upgrade to provide confidence to the state’s resources sector.

The Federal Government unlocked a $40 million investment to enable the project to proceed to tender.

Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the Port of Burnie Shiploader is critical last-mile infrastructure for the West Coast resource industry, loading millions of tonnes of material onto ships out of the Port since 1969.

“The resources sector is critical to our economic recovery and is dependent upon fast, efficient and reliable supply chains transporting materials between mine, port and our export destinations,” McCormack said.

“The current Port of Burnie Shiploader is 50 years old and has reached the end of its economic life, which is why we are committing to the upgrade and ensuring a reliable shiploading service for the West Coast resource sector into the long-term.”

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He said the project is part of the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation program. It is expected to enable the service of more types of ships, increased ability to load higher-capacity vessels and double the current bulk material loading capacity to around 2000 tonnes an hour.

TasRail CEO Steven Dietrich said the new shiploader would provide unique and critical export infrastructure for existing and future customer needs.

“It will be integrated into our Bulk Minerals Export Facility at the Burnie Port, which provides undercover storage for around 130,000 tonnes of ores and concentrates from West Coast mines. It will effectively double the tonnes able to be loaded per hour,” Dietrich said.

“This is a proven and reliable ship loading system and, as part of a seamless integrated supply chain, it will add significant productivity and reliability to our operations and benefit the mining industry also.”

Tasmanian Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson said securing the federal funding was an important step in allowing the project to move ahead.

“I can’t emphasise enough how hard we worked and how fortunate we are to secure this federal funding to support our mining and transport industry. It gives Burnie an unassailable future as an export port and installing the new Shiploader itself will be a boost for our economy right when we need it,” Ferguson said.

“Release of tender for the design, manufacture and assembly of the new Shiploader is expected by early August 2020.”

The project is anticipated to take approximately two years with the goal of being in operation in mid-2022.