Port of Townsville Channel Upgrade Project
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About the Project
The Port of Townsville is the largest commercial Port in Northern Australia but, at just 92 metres, the shipping channel is one of the narrowest in the country. Currently, vessels up to 238 metres in length can safely access the Port. Ships are getting larger, so the Port needs to adapt so that it is able to service the needs of North Queensland’s mining, defence, agriculture, construction, vehicle and tourism industries.
The $1.6 billion Port Expansion Project (PEP) is a long-term development plan for the port. It includes capital dredging for channel widening, land reclamation to develop a new outer harbour, wharves, and associated infrastructure to be constructed by 2040.
Stage one of the Port Expansion Project is the $193 million Channel Upgrade Project that will deliver a wider shipping channel and a 62-hectare Port Reclamation Area.
The shipping channel will be widened from its current width of 92 metres to 180 metres at the inshore (Port) end, then taper to 120 metres at the seaward end. The channel needs to be wider at the inshore end, as this is where wind and currents have the greatest impact on a vessel’s manoeuvrability.
The length limit for vessels using the Port of Townsville before channel widening is 238 metres. The wider shipping channel will allow vessels of up to 300 metres in length to safely access the Port.