Construction works on the expansion at the Australian port of Townsville could start next year after the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS) was approved by the state government's Coordinator-General.
The $AU1.64 billion ($US1.29 billion) project would enhance Townsville as Australia’s biggest sugar, zinc, lead, copper and fertiliser port, and northern Australia’s largest container and automotive port.
The 30-year development includes the creation of a deep-water outer harbour, six additional berths in the new harbour, and the reclamation of 152 hectares of existing harbour for new berths, bulk cargo storage and a rail loop.
“By 2045 the Port of Townsville will create up to six new berths, new land for cargo handling, and widen and deepen the channels for bigger ships,” said Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby.
The $AU193 million channel capacity upgrade will be the first work to start, which will involve widening shipping channels to accommodate larger ships.
The state government has committed $AU75 million to the channel works, which will start next year pending Australian Government approval.