Pilbara Ports Authority has successfully wrapped up capital dredging works for the Channel Risk and Optimization Project (CROP) at the Port of Port Hedland, the world’s largest bulk export port.
The $120 million, three-year project supports trade capacity growth in Port Hedland by optimizing channel depth and extending sailing windows, allowing port users to optimize tonnage on their vessels, they stated in their official announcement.
The dredging work, conducted by Jan De Nul, included the removal of ‘high spots’ in the channel, which optimizes navigable depths to allow deeper drafted vessels to safely navigate along the 42km shipping channel.
Commenting the latest news, Pilbara Ports Authority General Manager Operations, John Finch, said that the CROP is integral to safe and efficient port operations in Port Hedland.
“The CROP enables Pilbara Ports Authority to safely increase the export capacity from the port while accommodating future growth,” Mr Finch said.
“Industry will also benefit from the CROP as the dredging works have optimized the channel’s navigational depths, allowing port users to increase tonnages on their vessels.
“The next step is the quality assurance and implementation of survey data to ensure the safe transit of bulk carriers through the channel.
“Once this is completed the optimized channel depths will be implemented into the port’s operational systems, which is scheduled for later this month,” Mr Finch said.
The CROP was funded under the Port Improvement Rate (PIR), a temporary levy charged on vessels entering and exiting the Port of Port Hedland to fund capital improvements.