Flinders Ports has announced that a project to widen Port Adelaide’s Outer Harbour shipping channel and swing basin can now commence with the approval of Australia’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
In addition to a dredging licence, the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has approved a Native Vegetation Clearance permit that will enable the operator to clear seagrass and other natural materials as part of the expansion.
Stewart Lammin, CEO of Flinders Ports, has emphasized the company’s commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of the channel widening programme, an initiative which is expected to underpin Port Adelaide’s annual US$9.9 billion contribution to the economy.
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Lammin said: “We have been working with representatives of the EPA, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), to identify any risks and establish strategies and protocols for addressing them.”
“Central to that is the use of state-of-the-art equipment to minimise turbidity, loss of seagrass and any impact on fauna, adherence to an agreed seasonal window and the imposition of comprehensive risk management protocols.”
— Port Technology (PTI) (@PortTechnology) January 11, 2019
According to a statement, Flinders Ports has contracted dredging firm Boskalis to undertake the widening project, which will begin in June 2019 and continue for three months.
Lammin has also stated that the channel widening programme will ensure the “continued global relevance” of Port Adelaide, allowing it to accommodate larger “Post Panamax” container ships that are growing in both number and size within the shipping sector.
At the moment, Port Adelaide is the only Australian capital city port unable to accommodate these vessels, damaging opportunities for trade with Southern Australia.