Posted December 12, 2018
MASSIVE dredging operations at the Port of Burnie have been completed to accommodate Toll’s new state-of-the-art ships.
The State Government-owned TasPorts announced completion of the works on Monday, more than two months ahead of shipping company’s planned launch of the new vessels.
The ships will reportedly have a 40 per cent increased carrying capacity on the existing models, and TasPorts acting chief executive officer Anthony Donald said they will provide a necessary boost to the Tasmanian export market.
The works upgraded the Port of Burnie’s berth 4, and included the removal of 8,500 cubic metres of silt, clay and sandstone.
“More than 60 timber pile stumps from a previous demolished wharf were also extracted from the site,” Mr Donald said.
The works are part of an investment of $80 million the State Government has committed to the Port of Burnie in the coming 15 years.
Additionally, Toll is investing $35 million in its Port of Burnie operations following the dredging works and launch of the new vessels.
The upgrades follow Toll’s $311 million August announcement to upgrade their entire Bass Strait operations, which includes upgrades to ports in Tasmania and on the mainland, and $172 million to upgrade the two ships.
Toll Group managing director Michael Byrne said the investment was symbolic of the importance of the operations between Tasmania and the mainland.
“This is the largest-ever investment by a logistics business in the Bass Strait, and underpins Toll’s commitment to the Australian domestic market and the Bass Strait trade,” said Mr Byrne.
“We are proud to support the state’s local economy by helping businesses reach interstate and international markets. Tasmanian consumers depend upon Toll.”
“Bolstering our carrying capacity means we can support the Tasmanian exports boom driven by demand from Australian and Asian markets.”
As well as the 40 per cent capacity increase, the upgrades will include an increased capacity and capability to handle refrigerated freight and faster turnaround times at each end of the service.
The new vessels will replace Toll’s existing ships, and continue to operate overnight services on a six-day per week schedule from March 1, 2019.
Toll Tasmania executive general manager Steven Borg said the $35 million investment will make the port more efficient.
“Our investment includes the replacement of shore side ramps, upgrades to the existing mooring system, upgraded fenders to strengthen the wharf, and construction of concrete dolphins to facilitate longer mooring lines,” Mr Borg said.
“Around 120 people will be engaged to carry out construction work for the upgrade of Toll’s wharves, berthing infrastructure and terminals.”
Source: The Advocate