October 4 - The Port of Townsville in Queensland, Australia has constructed a purpose-built ro-ro ramp at the end section of Berth 10 for the transfer of project cargo for Adani's Abbot Point project.

The stacker reclaimer machine, which the port claims is worth AUD50 million (USD39.2 million) and weighs approximately 2,000 tonnes, will replace one of six stacker reclaimers for Abbot Point's coal operations.
The machine arrived at the port onboard United Heavy Lift's vessel Pacific Winter, and was unloaded to land adjoining Berth 10. Pacific Marine Group subsequently transferred sections of the stacker reclaimer onto a barge, utilising the ports new ro-ro capability, for onward transportation to Abbot Point.

"The Port of Townsville and key stakeholders have been preparing for the movement of this cargo for nearly 12 months," explained Claudia Brumme-Smith, general manager business development.

"The construction of a ro-ro facility at the end of Berth 10 means that our port can now facilitate the movement of huge pieces of project cargo into northern Australia without having to engage the entire commercial section of the wharf.

"That means a trade vessel can use Berth 10 to load/unload cargo, while the ro-ro section can operate independently; it's almost like adding another berth to Port of Townsville's capability."

Following the approval by the Queensland Government of the Townsville Port Expansion Project's environmental impact statement (EIS), the port plans to further expand its handling facilities with the construction of new berths, land for cargo handling, and the widening and deeping of the channels, as HLPFI reported here. According to Brumme-Smith, the port expects to be able to accept larger vessels by 2021.