Multi-million-dollar rock supply a solid start to Channel Upgrade Project

26 April 2019

The Port of Townsville Channel Upgrade Project has taken another major step with a multi-million-dollar rock supply contract awarded to Holcim Australia Pty Ltd.

The material supplied by Holcim will form a major component of the total rock supply required to construct the wall that will protect a 62-ha Reclamation Area that will eventually accommodate expanded Port infrastructure.

Port of Townsville Limited Chief Executive Officer, Ranee Crosby, said more than 600,000 tonnes of core and armour rock will be required over the next 12 months for the construction of the rock wall. Holcim will play a significant role in that total delivery, with other suppliers to be announced in the near future.

``Local benefit is an important consideration in the awarding of contracts for the Channel Upgrade, and Holcim’s involvement will deliver that,” she said.

Holcim General Manager Queensland Aggregates, Peter Ambrose, said that the company has the experience needed for a major project.

``Holcim is pleased to be awarded one of the rock supply contracts for the Port of Townsville’s Channel Upgrade project and continue our proud history of supplying high quality rock for vital marine infrastructure projects.

``To meet the demands of this project, our local Roseneath quarry will grow by up to eight new team members and additional local suppliers and service companies will be engaged.’’

Holcim’s trucking program will follow a Department of Transport and Main Roads approved route along the Flinders Highway and then onto the Port Access Road.

Ranee Crosby said that there will a phased start to rock haulage that will occur between 6am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday.

``We’re restricting movements to daylight hours to minimise any impact on residents,’’ Ms Crosby said.

The $193 million Channel Upgrade has taken more than 10 years in planning, including Commonwealth and State Government environmental approvals. It represents the biggest investment project in the Port’s history and involves widening of the shipping channel to accommodate ships of up to 300 metres in length. Due to the narrowness of the channel, only ships of up to 238 metres can currently access the Port.  

The Queensland and Commonwealth Governments have each committed $75 million for the project, with the Port of Townsville contributing $43 million.

``The Channel Upgrade is a vital project for the economic future of not only Townsville, but North Queensland as a whole”, said Ms Crosby.

Townsville Port is a major trade gateway for Northern Australia and for the nation – it is the country’s largest sugar, zinc, lead, copper and fertiliser port and Northern Australia’s largest container and automotive port.

For further information please refer to Channel Upgrade.

Channel Upgrade Project timeline:

  • First half 2019 – Rock deliveries start for construction of 62ha Port Reclamation Area
  • Second half 2019 – Construction of Port Reclamation Area begins
  • First half 2020 – Channel widening begins – scheduled to be completed in less than four years
  • 2023 – Cruise, military and commercial ships of up to 300 metres will be able to access the Port