The Port of Broome will be open to cruise ships around the clock in time for the start of the cruise ship season in mid-October, with dredging underway this week.
The $15.3 million channel optimization program will allow 24-hour access for cruise ships, which currently need to berth at irregular hours due to navigational hazards.
Dredging is expected to run for two weeks with minimal environmental impacts.
The dredging equipment this week completed the final stage of the Channel Risk and Optimization Project (CROP) at the Port of Port Hedland.
The CROP improves trade capacity by increasing channel depth and extending sailing windows, allowing port users to optimize tonnage on their vessels.
Coordination between Pilbara Ports Authority and Kimberley Ports Authority has reduced overall project costs for the Broome project, with the cutter suction dredge starting its journey in Port Hedland rather than from outside Australia.
Comments attributed to Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan: “Broome is one of Western Australia’s top destinations, but challenging tidal conditions and the rock mass in the entry channel have made it difficult for cruise ships to access the port at all tides.”
“Dredging will finish in time for the arrival of the first cruise ship in mid-October,” added MacTiernan. “As a bonus, the dredging equipment was sent to the Port of Broome directly after the completing work at Port Hedland, significantly reducing mobilization costs.”
The McGowan Government’s commitment to fix Broome Port prompted Carnival Australia to re-commit to homeporting the Sun Princess superliner in Fremantle for the 2019-20 cruise season.
The Sun Princess arrives in Fremantle on November 1 this year, carrying 2,000 guests and will homeport for a record 141 days.