The Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) was awarded the prestigious Western Australian Premier’s Award for its ground-breaking Tidal Model Project in the Developing the Economy category on Wednesday, 28 October 2015.
The category recognizes projects which maximize opportunities for the future through stimulating the economy to support employment and growth in Western Australia.
The project is a tidal model study that was conducted at the Port of Port Hedland in 2010 to accurately identify existing, deeper channel depths.
This resulted in the creation of a LAT model or ‘Hydroid’ unique to Port Hedland.
The study, which, when combined with maintenance dredging targeting high spots in 2013, has achieved an extra depth of 71cms in the shipping channel. This increased draft has enabled PPA to significantly increase its export capacity, allowing port customers to safely load more product onto vessels, and has extended sailing windows for vessels to increase from six to eight on a single tide.
In addition to greater export capacity, the increased draft has been achieved without the need to conduct capital dredging avoiding significant costs and environmental impacts. The initiative has also given PPA a more precise understanding of the channel, enhancing safety and the port’s ability to manage risk within the uni-directional channel.