Thursday, September 3, 2009

Port of Fremantle to Handle Super Freighters

Harbour to be substantially deepened
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA - Fremantle Ports is about to embark on a major infrastructure project to deepen the Inner Harbour to cater for bigger ships. The project, estimated to cost about A$250million, will enable the port to accommodate the new generation of freight ships that are coming into service and continue the efficient handling Western Australia’s container trade.

Transport Minister Simon O’Brien said the deepening was essential to ensure Fremantle Inner Harbour had sufficient depth to enable the bigger ships to access the port at full cargo capacity.

“There has been a huge increase in the average size of container ships visiting Fremantle over the past 15 years. Some of the bigger ships, for example: the G Class and post-Panamax vessels of about 65,000 gross tonnes, are currently unable to come in fully laden,” he said.

“Fremantle Port handles almost all of WA’s container trade and is critically important to the State’s economic well being,” he added.

The Minister said in overall terms in 2008-09, Fremantle Port handled 26.6 million mass tonnes of cargo. There were 1,830 ship visits and the value of trade through the port was almost A$26billion.

In April the first post-Panamex vessel, the MSC Confidence, entered Fremantle harbour with a limited load as at full displacement she would not have been able to clear the channel.

Work on the new seawall will begin this month in preparation for the harbour and channel deepening. All works associated with the deepening, reclamation and berth works are expected to be completed by the end of 2010.