A TRANSHIPMENT vessel which will enable the T-Ports development in Spencer Gulf to load export vessels starting in December 2018 has been launched in Guangdong Province in southern China, and will make its way to South Australia following its fit-out in Shanghai.
The Lucky Bay port development is a joint venture between South Australian fund manager Inheritance Capital Asset Management (ICAM), Duxton Asset Management, and Sea Transport Corporation, and includes storage and bulk-handling facilities at the eastern Eyre Peninsula site.
The 87-metre self-discharging vessel will be able to take on 3500 tonnes of grain at a time at the Lucky Bay terminal with its shallow draft of 3.9 metres.
It will then discharge the grain into a deep-water vessel anchored five nautical miles from the port.
T-Ports chief executive officer, Kieran Carvill, said the design of the vessel was based on transhipment vessels Sea Transport Solutions had previously designed and built which were successfully operating in the resource sector in northern Australia.
“The vessel was built in China by Bonny Fair Development and now that she’s been launched…she will be transferred to the yard of CCCC in Shanghai to have the material-handling system installed,” Mr Carvill said.
“The vessel is due in South Australian waters in time for exports of the 2018 grain harvest and has a nameplate capacity of 10,800-13,250t per day.”
Mr Carvill said the Lucky Bay port would guarantee the standard load rate available at other Australian grain port facilities.
“We’re excited to see the vessel launched and look forward to welcoming her into South Australian waters.”
T-Ports has engaged local engineering firm Ahrens for the construction of the Lucky Bay port facility, and civil contractors have been shortlisted and interviewed for the bulk earthworks program at the two bunker sites adjacent to the port.
“All going well, construction at Lucky Bay is planned to commence later this month,” Mr Carvill said.
“We plan to award the bulk earthworks contracts during May also, with test pitting to check for suitable gravel or rubble sources now under way at all sites.”
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