Port of Townsville has awarded the contract for a critical piece of its $251 million Channel Upgrade project to expand access to the port. 

CivilPlus Constructions will carry out a $1.5 million works package to shorten the Eastern Breakwater, making way for channel widening at the inshore end of the Port’s 14.9km shipping channels and allowing for larger vessels to access the Port from the end of 2024.

The Channel Upgrade project, commenced in March 2020, is stage one of a 30-year, $1.6 billion Port Expansion Project. 

The 30-year plan will reclaim a total 158ha of port land, see the construction of six new berths and associated infrastructure and facilitate three-fold trade growth across a broad range of new and existing industries.

Port of Townsville General Manager Project Delivery, David McLoughlin, said the appointment of CivilPlus was a demonstration of the Port’s commitment to utilising local skills and expertise to power its growth.

“Port of Townsville is committed to buying local where we can, having spent $14.3 million with Townsville and Lucinda-based businesses and one-third of our entire expenditure with small and medium-size businesses last financial year,” Mr McLoughlin said. 

“CivilPlus is a Townsville-owned business, headed by two born and bred locals who have proven to deliver consistently high-quality results in marine projects for almost 20 years.

“Their team will be tasked with the removal of 10,000m³ of material to shorten the existing breakwater by approximately 70m and allow capital dredging to continue at the entry to the port’s inner harbour.” 

CivilPlus will also place approximately 5,000t of new armour rock on the shortened breakwater. Rock has been sourced locally from quarries in Townsville and Ravenswood.

CivilPlus Constructions Senior Project Manager, Steve Olsen, said the project would support up to 15 full and part-time jobs for their local workforce.

“CivilPlus is excited to be part of the Port’s Channel Upgrade project. As a local Townsville company this will support ten full-time employees from within the Townsville area, along with up to five more part-time roles,” Mr Olsen said.

Shortening of the Eastern Breakwater will commence on 2 November 2023. Works will be conducted during daylight hours, Monday to Friday and are expected to take approximately ten weeks. There are expected to be no disruption to shipping during this time.

The $251 million Channel Upgrade project is funded in partnership by the Australian and Queensland Governments and Port of Townsville through the Townsville City Deal.

Featured image: CivilPlus workers. Image Credit: Port of Townsville.

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