Exmouth gets nod to lift boat services
Exmouth is set to become a major hub for boat maintenance after gaining approval for one of the largest boat lifting facilities north of Perth.
Base Marine’s 400-tonne lift will be capable of hoisting boats up to 12.5m wide, which is expected to benefit major offshore industries such as tourism and the oil and gas industry.
Shelf Subsea has already signed a three-year contract to use the lift for vessel maintenance when it arrives. Base Marine chief executive Nick Tutty said until now Dampier had been the only option for any vessels larger than about 250 tonnes.
“All these boats are currently crewing up and taking the crew and boat out of Exmouth and driving 1200km to Henderson where they will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on welders, painters, mechanics, hydraulics, parts et cetera all out of town,” he said.
“We’re hoping not only will this retain those people and jobs in future but also bring more boats to town from as far as Broome.
“Exmouth is always a much more cost-effective option for a lot of reasons, but certainly it will be a quality lifter with massive capabilities which is something the region has never had before.”
Mr Tutty said vessel operators had shown a “keen interest” in using the lifter on convenience alone.
Shelf Subsea executive director Peter Malcolm said putting their hands up to use the facility was a “no-brainer”.
“We have been doing a lot of work for Chevron on Barrow Island which is an A-Class Reserve so, of course, it has strict quarantine measures,” he said.
“For us to (clean and inspect the boats) we have either had to go to Dampier or down to Geraldton which is quite an expensive exercise. I see this as a great step up for them and a great benefit for Exmouth.”
Shire of Exmouth councillors voted unanimously to approve the project at last month’s meeting.
The lifter has been ordered, with Mr Tutty hoping for it to arrive in Exmouth and start operation by as early as the end of the year.