Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for a dredging contractor has been called for the $120 million Cairns Shipping Development Project. The winning contractor will undertake removal and placement of dredging material for the project.
The call for EOIs is part of a two-stage process to find a preferred dredging contractor based on their methods, experience, equipment as well as their capability to meet strict environmental requirements and project timeframes.
According to Minister for Transport and main Roads Mark Bailey, Ports North - the project proponent - is still awaiting a number of approvals to be granted to this Port of Cairns upgrade but the call for EOIs for a dredging contractor is a major step forward for the development.
“The Queensland Coordinator-general granted environmental approval for this project in February.
“Ports North has since been working with the State Government on a detailed business case in accordance with the Building Queensland Framework, as well as with the Federal Government to finalise approvals as soon as possible,” Mr Bailey said.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said that the upgrade to the Port of Cairns is vital for the economic and tourism growth in the Far North Queensland area.
The Cairns Shipping Development Project will include:
- Dredging works to widen and deepen the existing shipping channel (Trinity Inlet)
- Widening and deepening of the existing inner harbour channel and Crystal swing basin
- Establishment of a new shipping swing basin (Smith’s Creek swing basin) to enable future expansion of the HMAS Cairns Navy base
- Placement of material from capital dredging on land
- Upgrade works to the existing cruise shipping wharves (Trinity wharves 1 to 5)
- Partial demolition of wharf 6 to allow for extension to wharf 5
- Relocation and installation of new navigational aids
Source: Ports North
“The widening and deepening of the existing navigation channel to allow larger cruise ships to berth at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal would unlock other benefits too.
“The project will also enable future expansion of the HMAS Cairns Navy base; improve access and efficiency for bulk cargo and larger visiting Navy vessels and increased resilience for the Port of Cairns against extreme weather events,” Mr Healy said.
Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said that the call for EOIs opens an opportunity for potential contractors to provide detailed capability information regarding typical work methods, equipment availability, company resources as well as management systems and local industry opportunities.
“We can assess their capability to meet project timeframes, design parameters, strict and comprehensive environmental requirements and other project objectives,” Mr Beer said.
Ports North is expecting to commence works on the project in 2019, depending on the finalisation of project approvals. The first larger cruise ship is projected to enter the upgraded channel on late 2019.
The Cairns Shipping Development Project is expected to create up to 195 direct jobs during construction. The upgraded port is also expecting to generate approximately 1,535 direct operational jobs a year.
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