Industry in the Pilbara will be able to further maximize tonnages through the Port of Port Hedland with potential shipping capacity at the port increased by 40 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 617Mtpa, an increase of 6.9 per cent.
The increased capacity will allow all port users more capacity above their allocated tonnages by accessing D‑class shipping opportunities under the Port Hedland Vessel Movement Protocols.
The new capacity modelling by Pilbara Ports Authority was a result of State Government and industry investment at the port including capital dredging, innovative marine technology and other port efficiencies.
This includes the recently completed three-year dredging works program, the Channel Risk and Optimization Project (CROP).
The $120 million project included the removal of ‘high spots’ in the channel, optimizing navigable depths to allow deeper drafted vessels to safely navigate along the 42 kilometer shipping channel.
The sizes of ships coming into Port Hedland have increased significantly in recent years, with 45 per cent of vessels now carrying more than 200,000 deadweight tonnage, compared to less than ten per cent in 2009.