Eight cargo vessels containing enormous blades, wind towers and more than 450 components for RATCH Australia’s Mount Emerald Wind Farm will soon transit through the Port of Cairns.
“It will be a spectacular sight at the Port when 57m blades – nearly 10m larger than the wingspan of a Boeing 767 – and 80-tonne tower components are delivered,” Ports Minister Mark Bailey said.
“Once constructed, these will be the biggest wind turbines ever seen in Queensland, over 30 storeys high.”
Ports North is building a specialised cargo import laydown facility at the southern end of Tingira St to store the components after striking a commercial agreement with the project’s EPC contractor, Vestas Australian Wind Technology.
It has awarded the construction contract to locally-based company LDI.
The purpose-built facility will house turbine components for 53 wind turbines, which will deliver an estimated 185,000 revenue tonnes of cargo over the project life.
It will be re-used in the ongoing development of the Tingira St precinct for future general port industrial use.
The first of the six project shipments is expected to commence later this year with the final shipment scheduled for early 2018.
Turbine components will be unloaded at wharves 4, 5, 7 and 8, then transported to the lay-down facility for storage before being transferred to the Mount Emerald site.
Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said because of the unique size, shape and weight of the components, the lay-down area will be more than 3ha and will require specialised ground preparation for heavy duty cargo.
“This is an exciting undertaking for our port and once again proves Ports North is a key economic driver for the region,” Mr Beer said.
“This work reminds industry that the Port of Cairns is not just a pretty face, but an important industrial hub for the region.”
Rex Andrews Engineered Transportation has been awarded the logistics contract and will be mobilising specialised trailers into Cairns including extendable trailers and floats capable of transporting the 120 tonne turbine generator units.
The $380 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm is expected to create more than 150 jobs during construction.