Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

Pil­bara Ports Author­ity will be­gin re­de­vel­op­ing the Port of Ash­bur­ton in com­ing months af­ter tak­ing over man­age­ment of the fa­cil­ity from Chevron. Once com­plete, the port is ex­pected to cre­ate a raft of busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in nearby Onslow and through­out the Pil­bara.

Works to trans­form the Port of Ash­bur­ton from a Wheat­stone con­struc­tion sup­port base to gen­eral cargo port will be­gin in com­ing months as part of a move ex­pected to boost busi­ness ac­tiv­ity in Onslow and at­tract new in­dus­try to the re­gion.

Pil­bara Ports Author­ity this month assumed man­age­ment of the port, 12km south-west of Onslow, and plans to start re­de­vel­op­ment works in the next few months ahead of the fa­cil­ity ac­cept­ing ves­sels from early 2019.

The port was built by Chevron to sup­port the Wheat­stone liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas project’s con­struc­tion but was al­ways in­tended to be handed over to the State.

A PPA spokeswoman said the re­main­ing in­fra­struc­ture would be re­de­vel­oped to make the port ca­pa­ble of ser­vic­ing gen­eral cargo, fuel and sup­ply base ac­tiv­i­ties in both im­port and ex­port.

“The Port of Ash­bur­ton has been planned as multi-user fa­cil­ity to sup­port the ex­port of LNG and other hy­dro­car­bon-based prod­ucts and will pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for sim­i­lar op­er­a­tors to utilise the port,” she said.

“It is ex­pected that other projects and com­pa­nies will make use of the port to ex­port their goods to the world, sup­ported by the ready sup­ply of land at the nearby Ash­bur­ton North Strate­gic In­dus­trial Area.”

The Port of Ash­bur­ton has pre­vi­ously been flagged as a draw­card for marine sup­ply base op­er­a­tors to es­tab­lish them­selves in the re­gion, sup­port­ing in­creased oil and gas ex­plo­ration, and a po­ten­tial base for live cat­tle ship­ments.

Onslow Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try chief ex­ec­u­tive Chantelle King said when com­plete the port would cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­nesses to work di­rectly out of Onslow.

“We would hope that it would cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal peo­ple, busi­ness growth for ex­ist­ing lo­cal busi­nesses and also new busi­nesses start-ups to ser­vice what re­quire­ments are needed,” she said.

The Port of Ash­bur­ton has 312ha of com­mon-use area, an in­fra­struc­ture cor­ri­dor and 250sqkm of port wa­ters. Re­de­vel­op­ment works will in­clude es­tab­lish­ing se­cu­rity in­fra­struc­ture, gate­house ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fices and build­ings, and cargo han­dling and stor­age ar­eas.

The port is ex­pected to start re­ceiv­ing cargo ves­sels from the end of the first quar­ter next year, and to be fully op­er­a­tional as a gen­eral cargo port by the end of 2019.

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