The “grand finale” in the transportation of new ship loader cargo destined for Hay Point Coal Terminal has been completed at the Port of Mackay.
Spanning 50m long, and weighing 230 metric tonnes, the ship loader shuttle is a replacement for an old piece of equipment which was lifted from the vessel Pauwgracht in spectacular fashion at Wharf One five weeks ago.
The Pauwgracht, which is operated by BigLift Shipping, will make the return journey to unload the cargo at its new home at the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Hay Point Coal Terminal.
BMA is carrying out a 12-week maintenance shutdown project at Hay Point, with an estimated workforce of about 450 people.
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation chief executive officer Nicolas Fertin said it was one of the most significant break bulk cargo lifts facilitated at the port in recent history.
“Due to the large size of the cargo, extensive planning was involved to accommodate modifications to the wharf and operational logistics for the ship to lift the which is the equivalent of about 170 medium-sized cars,” Mr Fertin said.
Hay Point Coal Terminal general manager Melissa Johnson said BMA was extremely proud to have fabricated the new outer shuttle in Paget, creating value for local suppliers and also showcasing capability.
“The fabrication, transport, dry commissioning and eventual movement back to the terminal have been in the planning phase for almost 12 months,” she said.
“Like this final voyage, the smooth sailing we’ve enjoyed throughout this project is a testament to the team, which has worked extensively behind the scenes.”
More than 27,000 freight tonnes of break bulk cargo have been transported through the Port of Mackay in the current financial year.
Mr Fertin said NQBP would continue to unearth the “untapped potential” of the Port of Mackay to attract new commercial opportunities.
Earlier this month NQBP announced the $2.9m Edmund Casey Drive Extension for a second access road to the port from Slade Point Road in early 2020. This will create future land development opportunities.