The Australian government has announced a AU$565 million ($382 million) investment to expand the Port of Port Hedland in Western Australia.
The move is expected to create hundreds of jobs and help unlock trade and investment opportunities.
The expansion will be delivered in partnership with the Western Australian government, which will contribute AU$96.5 million ($64.6 million) to the project.
The Lumsden Point development project is part of the Port of Port Hedland Development Plan Review aimed at maximising the port’s export capacity.
The project will involve constructing two seawalls and a new causeway that links the wharf to the proposed logistics hub. It will also deliver new multi-user facilities and berths to diversify trade in the Pilbara region and support the growth of Australia’s and the global renewables industries.
The works will enable the increase in capacity to export battery metals, such as lithium and copper concentrates, and import renewable energy infrastructure, including wind turbines and blades.
“Demand is growing locally and overseas for clean energy sources, and our government’s investment in the Lumsden Point expansion will help position Northern Australia to take advantage of the economic opportunities this demand presents,” said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
“The Pilbara region has been at the heart of Australia’s economic strength for decades, generating wealth for the entire country and supporting thousands of jobs across Western Australia.”
Premier Mark McGowan highlighted that the port expansion will help to position Port Hedland at the forefront of the future green industries that will drive the state’s economy for decades to come.
“We’re investing in projects to diversify our economy and create jobs right across the state,” he added.
According to Infrastructure Australia, enhancing the capacity of Pilbara Ports is considered a priority for national infrastructure improvement.
As the project progresses, it is anticipated that businesses in the Pilbara area will benefit greatly, as approximately 90 per cent of the materials and suppliers for the project will be sourced within the region.
There will be opportunities for sub-contracting and employment, as well as partnerships with First Nation businesses, which will generate economic benefits for communities in the northwest.
“Investment in good infrastructure opens doors and opportunities for businesses and communities, and that’s exactly what this project is all about,” said Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King.
“By making use of local expertise and materials for the first seawall, this project will drive a real short-term employment and economic boost while delivering lasting infrastructure that will continue to benefit the region well into the future.”
The first seawall will be built by MGN Civil, and a tender for the delivery of the second seawall will be released soon.
The MoU is intended to boost renewable energy trade opportunities between Western Australia and Japan.