Port of Burnie set for shiploader upgrade

The Australian Government has unlocked its $40 million commitment to enable the Port of Burnie Shiploader Upgrade to proceed to tender, providing confidence and certainty to Tasmania’s resources sector.  

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Port of Burnie Shiploader is critical last-mile infrastructure for the West Coast resource industry, loading millions of tonnes of material onto ships out of the Port since 1969.

“The resources sector is critical to our economic recovery and is dependent upon fast, efficient and reliable supply chains transporting materials between mine, port and our export destinations,” Mr McCormack said.

“The current Port of Burnie Shiploader is 50 years old and has reached the end of its economic life, which is why we are committing to the upgrade and ensuring a reliable shiploading service for the West Coast resource sector into the long-term.

“This project is part of the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation program and will enable the service of more types of ships, increasing ability to load higher-capacity vessels while doubling the current bulk material loading capacity to approximately 2,000 tonnes per hour.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said securing the federal funding was an important step in allowing the project to move ahead.

“I can’t emphasise enough how hard we worked and how fortunate we are to secure this federal funding to support our mining and transport industry. It gives Burnie an unassailable future as an export port and installing the new shiploader itself will be a boost for our economy right when we need it,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Release of tender for the design, manufacture and assembly of the new shiploader is expected by early August 2020.

“Assembly and installation are then expected to start in mid-2021, with final installation expected to be completed by mid-2022.”

Federal Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce said the replacement shiploader would have greater throughput, longer reach and be higher than the existing one.

“This will boost production for miners, allow TasRail to handle more ore concentrates and there will be less queuing time,” Mr Pearce said.

“It will also mean cost savings on port charges, more mineral concentrates will pass through the port and miners will boost their production and have certainty in the logistics chain.

“The new shiploader is also an investment in improved safety reliability and environmental outcomes, providing confidence to the Tasmanian mining industry and the jobs it supports.”

The Australian Government is fully funding the Port of Burnie Shiploader Upgrade, which was announced as a $40 million election commitment during the 2019 Federal Election.

Media Contact:

Mr McCormack – Dean Shachar 0418 202 860

Mr Ferguson – Carly Dolan 0437 925 010

Mr Pearce – Electorate Office (03) 6431 1333