Ex­mouth gets nod to lift boat ser­vices

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

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.

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