The Port of Port Hedland’s replacement of aged marine navigation aids has successfully been completed under budget and two months ahead of the initial schedule.

The new channel markers improve safety for port users and support plans to facilitate more trade opportunities in the Pilbara region.

The Channel Marker Replacement Program (CMRP) replaced three land-based and 35 offshore structures to provide a safe, reliable navigation system for entering and departing Port Hedland waters for the next 25 years.

Austral Construction replaced the 35 offshore navigation aids, while Total AMS replaced the three land-based navigation aids.

The companies utilised the goods and services of at least 31 Pilbara businesses during the CMRP project. It also created employment opportunities for five local staff, including an indigenous apprentice, and two local contractors.

The CMRP is one of three projects funded by the Port Improvement Rate (PIR), a temporary levy charged on vessels entering and exiting the harbour which funds capital improvements to sustain and improve the safe long-term operation of the Port.

Port operations were not affected during construction.

The new navigation aids were not damaged during Tropical Cyclone Veronica.

Ports Minister for WA, Alannah MacTiernan, said that the replacement of the old markers improves safety for port users and creates up-to-date infrastructure to support current and future shipping movements in the port.

“Port Hedland and the wider Pilbara community benefited, with five direct jobs and two subcontracting jobs created during construction, as well as supporting 31 local businesses that were used to provide various goods and services.

“The project also came in ahead of schedule and under budget, giving port users further confidence in the PIR program and the Pilbara Ports Authority’s ability to support industry plans for future export growth,” Ms Mac Tiernan said.

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