A four-year project to expand the Port of Newcastle’s channel capacity has paid off, with the arrival of the largest fuel tanker to enter the port in 220 years of commercial operations.
The 244m Pro Alliance long range 2 (LR2) class tanker berthed on 18 March 2019 at Stolthaven’s Mayfield 7 dedicated bulk liquids terminal, a purpose-built facility catering to vessels of that size.
The milestone follows the arrival of the port’s first long range 1 (LR1) tanker in early January.
The port is able to receive a tanker of this size after a four-year collaborative project between Stolthaven, Port of Newcastle, Port Authority of NSW and Svitzer to expand channel capacity and accommodate deep-draft inbound tankers up to 245m LOA (length overall).
The project partners committed to increasing the port’s capacity through a number of activities, including detailed channel simulation investigations, adding active escort tug capability to the port’s fleet and the development of a dynamic under-keel clearance system (DUKC) for deep draft inbound ships to complement the existing outbound DUKC system.
Port of Newcastle Executive Manager – Marine and Operations, Keith Wilks, said the Pro Alliance’s arrival was a significant milestone in the port’s history, delivering supply chain flexibility and efficiencies for the oil industry through enhanced channel capacity.
“We are proud to have facilitated the arrival of Pro Alliance at Stolthaven’s bulk liquids terminal at Port of Newcastle this morning,” Mr Wilks said.
“In our 220th year of commercial shipping, milestones such as this signify the evolving role of the port in facilitating global trade through our harbour and driving growth in the regional, state and national economies.”
Stolthaven’s Managing Director, Gordon Lasker, said the company had made significant investment in its fuel terminal facility that would benefit its customers and enable greater efficiencies in the bulk liquids supply chain from Newcastle.
“The arrival of our first LR2 tanker is the realisation of a long-term investment in the dedicated bulk liquids precinct at Mayfield 7 berth. We are grateful for the proactive approach by Port of Newcastle to support not only our current business but also our future expansion plans,” Mr Lasker said.
Stolthaven Australia has been operating a dedicated bulk liquids precinct at Port of Newcastle since December 2013.
The facility is one of the most advanced in Australia. A further 10 hectares is currently under development and will deliver an expected capacity build of 450,000 cubic meters of bulk fuels and chemicals storage.