$40M Shiploader upgrade set for Port of Burnie

The Shiploader at Port of Burnie in Tasmania is 50 years old and the Federal Government has committed to a $40 million upgrade.

A tender will soon be released to find contractors for the upgrade which will help to provide 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,” 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.”

He says the project is part of the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation program. It is expected to enable the service of more types of ships, increased ability to load higher-capacity vessels and double the current bulk material loading capacity to around 2000 tonnes an 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,” Ferguson said.

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

He says assembly and installation are expected to start in mid-2021 with completion in mid-2022.

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