Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) says it will soon submit applications with the State and federal governments to widen the Clinton Channel.
The development of the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal has led to increased Cape-size vessel traffic passing the RG Tanna wharf facility at Gladstone.
GPC has worked with industry specialists and key stakeholders to investigate improvement options and select a preferred mitigation strategy to ensure the safe and efficient passage of vessels through the Clinton Channel.
Chief executive officer Peter O’Sullivan said the submission of applications for the project followed more than 12 months of detailed planning and investigations to explore several options to improve vessel interaction safety.
“Due to the current configuration of the Clinton Channel, vessels are required to pass within approximately 80m of those vessels berthed at our RG Tanna wharf,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“This means that displaced water from the passing vessel results in significant forces on the vessels at berth, posing a risk of vessels breaking mooring lines and moving off the RG Tanna wharf.
“To alleviate the current situation, both GPC and the Regional Harbour Master have implemented temporary processes to reduce these risks, however a permanent solution is required to ensure the safe and efficient passage of vessels through our harbour.”
The Clinton Vessel Interaction Project will lodge environmental applications with the State and Federal governments to widen the existing channel.
Subject to the nature of the dredging equipment used, the estimated cost of the project is $65 million – $80 million.
“Widening the Clinton Channel by approximately 100m will enable passing vessels to have greater separation distance and will mitigate the vessel interaction issue,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“The main alternative was to deepen the nearby Clinton Bypass channel which required almost three times the volume of dredging.
“By widening the existing channel we will significantly reduce the dredging volume and can also place the material into the existing approved Western Basin area.”
Work is expected to commence in the latter half of 2018.
The proposed project involves about 800,000 cubic metres of dredging.
If approved, the dredged material will be placed in the existing Western Basin Reclamation Area, creating strategic port land for potential future industrial use in the Port of Gladstone.
For more information visit www.gpcl.com.au/Pages/Clinton-Vessel-Interaction-Project