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Page last updated on 14-07-2021.

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Port offers $50,000 for community-minded projects
Port offers $50,000 for community-minded projects

The Port of Townsville is inviting not-for-profits, community groups and schools to apply for its second annual Community Fund, with a share in $50,000 up for grabs for eligible projects.The Community Fund seeks to support a variety of local initiatives that align with the Port’s strategic vision to create improved sustainability in four key areas: Planet, Community, People and Prosperity. Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said the Fund was open to a broad range of projects to reflect North Queensland’s diverse community.“While our Port is based in Townsville, we are mindful that our footprint and the success of our operations extends far beyond the local government area to include Hinchinbrook, the Burdekin, Charters Towers and the North West,” said Ms Crosby.“We invite groups from all of these communities to apply for the Community Fund, if they have a project that could benefit from in-kind or monetary support.”Minister for Resources and member for Townsville Scott Stewart said it was great to have the Port of Townsville supporting community groups.“Townsville was built on the back of the port so it’s great to have the organisation giving back to the community through this fund,” Mr Stewart said.“Community groups are so important for regional areas and this fund will help them with some fantastic projects.”Last year’s inaugural Community Fund saw 17 projects receive the Port’s backing including a mix of sports, arts, environmental and social projects. Groups with eco-conscious projects featured prominently among the recipients including Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare receiving funding for a new shade house, an upgrade to NQ Football’s solarsystem, and replacing Townsville Sailing Club’s ageing beach mats with 100% recycled 'Mobi Mats'.Ocean-related projects also featured high on the agenda. Townsville’s volunteer Coast Guard was among the 2021 recipients, receiving funding and in-kind support to set-up a computer, laptops and tablets to support their local rescue efforts.Townsville Volunteer Coast Guard Deputy Flotilla Commander Dave Finlay said the Community Fund’s assistance enabled the Townsville Coast Guard to ensure continuity of search, aid and rescue services for approximately 25,000 recreational vessels registered across Townsville.“With advancing technology and aging hardware our servers, computers and other IT assets were in serious need of upgrade,” said Deputy Flotilla Commander Finlay.“Support through the Port’s Community Fund allowed us to replace our aging hardware before any major malfunctions, meaning our 120 volunteers were able to continue providing undisrupted assistance to the local boating community.” Applications to the Port of Townsville’s 2022 Community Fund will be open until 10 April 2022. For more information and to apply, go to www.townsville-port.com.au/community/

Townsville - Port of the Year
Townsville - Port of the Year

The Port of Townsville has won the Australian Port of the Year award at the Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards in Sydney last night. Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said that being acknowledged by our peers and taking out the top honour was a great achievement at these prestigious industry awards. "This is a wonderful honour and a fabulous endorsement of our team’s hard work," Ms Crosby said. "The award reflects the truly remarkable work that our people at the Port do, every day, to serve our customers and communities in Northern Queensland.  "Through our 30-year sustainability roadmap - Port Vision 2050 - we have set out ambitious plans to improve the prosperity of our region, to contribute towards a climate positive future, improve the liveability for our community and foster an environment where our people thrive.  "These initiatives are at the centre of our vision to be Australia’s Port for the Future. "This is the third time that Townsville Port has taken out the award – the last time being two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016 – which is a further nod to the tremendous work and commitment of our team." The judges said that the:  "[The] Port of Townsville is firmly established as a key player within the Australian port industry and therefore a worthy winner of this year’s Port or Terminal of the Year award." `What really impressed the judges was the Port recently completing several major projects that have significantly improved its capacity to handle and store heavy and oversized cargo safely and efficiently. "These included berth extensions; wharf upgrades; new cargo terminals; and cranes, together with tailoring a range of facilities and services to minimise wait times and optimise cargo handling procedures, such as completion of several roadwork projects including a recently completed truck staging area to improve heavy and wide vehicle access to multiple laydown areas." The Port of Townsville is Australia’s largest exporter of zinc, copper, lead and fertilizer and sugar bulk trades, Northern Australia’s largest importer of containers and motor vehicles and a key import hub for project cargo destined for the region’s mines and major infrastructure projects. Finalists in the Australian Port or Terminal award included: BHP Port Shipping Team (WAIO), DO World Sydney Terminal, Port of Brisbane and the Port of Eden (Port Authority of NSW).

Woomera's arrival heralds start of channel widening
Woomera's arrival heralds start of channel widening

Townsville is a step closer to welcoming ships up to 300 metres long with the arrival of Australia’s largest backhoe dredge, Woomera, at the Port of Townsville. The $232 million Channel Upgrade is the largest infrastructure project in the Port’s 158-year history and is vital to ensuring trade, defence and cruise opportunities no longer bypass Townsville. Queensland-based company Hall Contracting will use Woomera to widen Townsville’s 14.9-kilometre shipping channels over the next two years. Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said today’s announcement underscores the Morrison Government’s continued commitment to projects that support the growing industry needs of the Townsville region. “The channel upgrade project is a critical component of the Townsville City Deal, which will generate jobs and support Townsville’s future growth,” Minister Fletcher said. “The Morrison Government is focused on delivering targeted investment in projects that will help strengthen the local economy so that the city is positioned as a liveable, innovative and vibrant destination in Northern Australia.” Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, the Hon Mark Bailey MP, said the Palaszczuk Labor Government backed the Port of Townsville through its $105 million investment towards the upgrade. “We understand the importance of keeping Queensland’s ports in the hands of Queenslanders as publicly owned infrastructure,” Mr Bailey said. “I’m pleased to see Woomera now arrive at the port, to begin the dredging required to set the Port of Townsville up for a booming future. “With the widening of the channel comes more opportunities for the Port, for Townsville and for Queensland, creating jobs and boosting the economy at a time when it’s needed most.” Federal Member for Herbert Phil Thompson said the project had supported a significant local workforce. “The project has already so far supported around 1,400 jobs, with the dredging contract supporting more than 70 full-time employees, including trainees who are upskilling and reskilling.” Mr Thompson said. “The Channel Upgrade will create jobs and drive the economy not just in the short term, but for decades to come as we’re able to bring in ships up to 26 per cent longer than can currently be accommodated.” Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the channel upgrade would create more opportunities for the city. “Townsville was built on the back of the port and these upgrades are essential to creating jobs as part of our economic recovery from COVID-19,” Mr Stewart said. “This upgrade is important for the resources industry, as it will allow more of North Queensland’s world class minerals to be exported to the world.” Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said these upgrades supported Townsville’s traditional industries but were also important to build capacity for the hydrogen sector. “Townsville and the port are well placed to take advantage of the hydrogen industry which could create thousands of additional jobs in the region and the channel upgrade will be a key part of this moving forward,” he said. Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the Channel Upgrade project is the largest infrastructure project in the Townsville Port’s history. “This project is already supporting more than 1400 jobs and will grow Townsville’s economy in the future as it will allow the port to bring bigger ships into the city which is important for our economic recovery from COVID-19,” Mr Harper said. Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said the Woomera’s arrival marked an exciting step for the project. “The Port of Townsville is northern Australia’s largest general cargo port and services the region’s agriculture, mining, Defence, construction, retail, vehicle and tourism industries,” Ms Crosby said. “Despite our port’s size, diversity and significance to north Australia’s industries, our shipping channel is one of the narrowest in Australia, measuring just 92 metres across. “As ships are getting larger it is critical the channel is widened to ensure we can continue to service North Queensland, support the region’s economy, and prepare for future growth for emerging industries including the export of green hydrogen.” The project will double the width of the shipping channel from 92 metres to 180 metres at the inshore (Port) end, tapering to 120 metres at the seaward end. All material removed during capital dredging will be brought to land for beneficial reuse in a 62-hectare reclamation area bounded by a rock wall, which was completed by Hall Contracting in 2021. Woomera will begin dredging a small area to provide access to the reclaim area during daylight hours from next week, before moving to the shipping channel, where she will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week (weather permitting). Channel widening is expected to take two years. The Woomera is a mechanical dredge which uses an excavator to dig compact material from the seabed. It is a slower dredging method than alternatives, but will reduce the amount of seabed being disturbed at any one time, limiting the footprint of sediment plumes and associated environmental impact. The Townsville Port Channel Upgrade is a $232 million joint project of the Australian and Queensland Governments, and the Port of Townsville Limited, and forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016. Under the City Deal, the Australian Government is contributing $75 million, the Queensland Government is contributing $105 million, and the Port of Townsville Limited is contributing the remaining $52 million. Fast facts: The shipping channel will be widened from 92 metres to 180 metres at the Port end, tapering to 120 metres at the seaward end The wider shipping channel will allow vessels up to 300 metres long to safely access the Port Scientific experts have endorsed the dredge method as providing a better solution for the environment All capital dredge material will be transported back to land for use in a 62-hectare reclamation area bounded by the new rock wall – none will be deposited at sea The reclamation area will allow the Port to expand in the future with room for up to six new berths Trade volumes through the Port of Townsville are expected to triple over the next 30 years. The Port has committed $17 million for environmental monitoring and management programs as part of the Channel Upgrade project, including those covering dolphins, turtles, seagrass, corals and shorebirds. An Independent Technical Advisory Committee has set thresholds to protect the marine environment during capital dredging works.

Hydrogen Export Plans Boost for Jobs
Hydrogen Export Plans Boost for Jobs

Townsville’s bid to become a renewable hydrogen powerhouse has been strengthened with the signing of another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to investigate the process and feasibility of exporting hydrogen through the city’s Port. The Port of Townsville and Edify Energy Pty Ltd will today sign an MoU to work together to advance Edify’s renewable hydrogen export project.  The signing of the MoU follows Edify’s recent development approval to build and operate a renewable hydrogen production plant with up to 1GW electrolyser for 5,000 - 150,000 H2 tonnes per year of renewable hydrogen at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, 46km south of Townsville. Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said Queensland has a track record of creating energy export industry and the Palaszczuk Government was getting the investment settings right to capitalise on renewable hydrogen. “We are positioning Queensland as a global powerhouse for clean energy exports and the decent, secure jobs that will create for Queenslanders,” Mr de Brenni said. “Renewable hydrogen will boost construction, utilities, heavy manufacturing, and a range of local service industries. “That equals more jobs in more regional industry in Townsville and across the state.” Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development and the 50% Renewable Energy Target by 2030 Lance McCallum said Queensland is fast becoming a renewables superpower. “Queensland renewables mean more highly skilled jobs, both now and in the industries of the future. “Our publicly owned ports are essential to exporting our renewable hydrogen to the world.” Member for Mundingburra and Hydrogen Champion Les Walker said agreements like this positioned Townsville as a green hydrogen powerhouse. “Townsville is well placed to take advantage of this growing industry, particularly as the world looks toward alternative energies,” Mr Walker said. “We have the facilities at the Port of Townsville to export hydrogen, our workers have the skills and the city is primed to take advantage of the new jobs which will come from this emerging industry.” “This announcement also shows the importance of the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct which is why the Palaszczuk Government is investing in the site.” Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper welcomed the agreement between Edify Energy and the Port of Townsville. “This agreement, among a number of others the Port of Townsville has signed, show the confidence major companies have in the potential for hydrogen in the city,” Mr Harper said. “As a government we’re backing the hydrogen industry because we know there are huge opportunities in this emerging industry and it will create new jobs. “That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is investing in the $232 million channel upgrade at the Port of Townsville because we know there are real opportunities to grow the port and bring new industries to the city.” Edify Chief Executive Officer John Cole said Townsville’s existing infrastructure and industry was well placed to establish a renewable hydrogen production and export industry.  “We are excited to be working with the Port of Townsville and other project proponents in the region.  This MoU is another milestone for our project on its path to exporting renewable hydrogen and for Townsville’s journey to establishing sustainable long-term jobs and industry,” he said. “Using a renewable energy source to produce large-scale green hydrogen means Townsville will be perfectly poised to be North Queensland’s hydrogen hub and export capital on the east coast.  This is where future proofed jobs are created, new skills are learned, existing industries and infrastructure leveraged, manufacturing and communities thrive.” Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said North Queensland is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the world's growing demand for hydrogen, presenting significant opportunities for the region. “Hydrogen made with renewable energy is completely carbon free and is a flexible energy carrier that can power almost anything that requires energy,” said Ms Crosby. “This versatility, partnered with Townsville’s global connectivity and highly-skilled workforce, represents boundless opportunities to align the North’s economic prosperity with global ambitions to transition to a clean energy future.” “The Port recently released our Port Vision 2050 – our roadmap for the next 30 years – which has a strong emphasis on action on climate change and committing to a climate positive future. “Facilitating the production, usage and export of green hydrogen is one of the Port’s key strategic goals.” Edify Energy joins a growing list of proponents seeking to export renewable hydrogen through the Port of Townsville, including Origin Energy and Ark Energy Corporation.  

Cars and containers buoy Port profits
Cars and containers buoy Port profits

Significant surges in the number of motor vehicles and containerised goods imported through the Port of Townsville helped deliver modest profit growth in the face of another challenging year.In 2020-21, the Port of Townsville delivered a strong operating result of $14.3 million, up 3.3 per cent on the previous year, despite the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.While overall trade dropped to 7.7 million tonnes compared to 8.2 million tonnes the previous year, containerised trade rose 17 per cent and motor vehicle imports increased 34 per cent. The Port also recorded increased trade in exports of fertiliser and refined metals and imports of cement, fertiliser and petroleum products.Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said the result was a positive one as the global landscape continued to be redefined by uncertainty.“As the world changes, we have maintained a strong focus on keeping vital trade moving to support the people and the economy of North Queensland,” Ms Crosby said.“An overall decline in trade was driven by changes in mineral concentrates supply chains, with refineries sourcing larger volumes from mines in the region instead of overseas. This highlighted the strength of the North West Minerals Province to service refineries in our region.“We welcomed strong growth in containerised and motor vehicle imports, and North Queensland’s resilience in such times demonstrates how vital it is that we continue to facilitate trade for the diverse range of industries. On top of that our continuing capital works program will guarantee our region’s growth for the years to come.”The Port of Townsville’s investment in its trade facilitation throughout 2020-21 included: Continuation of the largest infrastructure project in the Port’s history, the $232 million Channel Upgrade project. Construction of the 2.2km rock wall and 62ha reclamation area is now complete and capital dredging is due to begin in late 2021. Completion of the $30 million Berth 4 Ship-to-Shore Crane and Cargo Area to grow container and general cargo trade in the region. Completion of a $4.5m truck staging area to reduce congestion and improve safety and efficiency of truck movements. Commissioning the new $3.3 million custom-built pilot vessel, Mantaray. Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Origin Energy to export hydrogen to Asia, and advanced investigations with a number of other proponents including Ark Energy and Edify Energy to develop clean energy projects that could drive significant economic growth for the region. The Port’s 2020-21 Financial Year was also punctuated by an increased commitment to sustainability with the release of Port Vision 2050, a strategic roadmap for the next 30 years. Port Vision 2050 outlines 12 strategic objectives and 27 initiatives across four priority areas to capture the Port's long-term vision and chart a course for achieving it.“We took some big strides toward achieving Port Vision 2050 in its first six months including the launch of a $50,000 Port Community Fund through which we were proud to support 17 community initiatives by charities, not-for-profits and community groups,” Ms Crosby said.“Other commitments under Post Vision 2050 are well underway including our efforts to become carbon neutral for port operations by 2025, planting one million additional native trees by 2050 and delivery of the $1.6 billion Port Expansion Project by 2050.”