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Cars drive timely economic boost at the Port

13 May 2020

A new $2.5 million project to extend the secondary wharf at Berth 10 will make Townsville more attractive for car carriers, while also providing a much-needed boost to jobs and the local economy.

Townsville marine contractor Pacific Marine Group Pty Ltd (PMG) was successful in securing the contract to upgrade the important Roll on Roll off (RoRo) wharf extension for larger car vessels.  This work will support up to 26 jobs on-site including sub-contractors.

Port of Townsville General Manager Infrastructure and Environment Marissa Wise said the wharf was currently too short to cater for car carriers with a 38m beam or width as larger car carriers of this size are becoming the norm across the globe.

``This gives Townsville the opportunity to grow car import numbers.  We are currently importing around 15,000 cars annually.  The upgrade will provide an opportunity for more vessels to unload in Townsville, reducing supply chain costs for North Queenslanders,’’ she said.

``It’s important to be putting money into our economy at any time but especially under the current circumstances.  The Port has a long history of utilising local contractors, and having the expertise of Townsville-based business Pacific Marine Group is ideal for this type of project.’’

Pacific Marine Group CEO Kevin Chard said the project couldn’t have come at a better time.

``This is really timely for PMG as we have had to demobilise from various projects in PNG and the Pacific due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally marine construction work is subdued due to the pandemic travel restrictions,’’ he said.

The project includes cutting into the existing wharf, fabrication and installation of steel piles and construction of a concrete wharf deck.  Once completed, the secondary wharf will have a 55-metre extension to accommodate the stern ramps of car carriers. Some of the works will be landside while the rest will be conducted from tug/barge/crane units. Work has begun and is due to be completed in August.

The Berth 10 upgrade corresponds with the $193m Channel Upgrade project which is designed to allow bigger ships to enter Townsville from 2023.