Channel deepening set to modernise Fremantle Port

Work begins at Port of Freemantle to deepen the inner harbour, allowing bigger ships to dock

September 3, 2009

Work will begin this week at the Port of Freemantle to deepen the inner harbour, allowing a new generation of freight carrying vessels to service Western Australia.

The initiative which will see the maximum draft capability at the inner harbour rise from 12.8m to 14m at a cost of $250 million. It will take just over a year to complete.

According to WA Transport Minister Simon O’Brien the upgrade is highly necessary in order for the State to cope with a 9.5 percent annual rise in container trade.

"There has been a huge increase in the average size of container ships visiting Fremantle over the past 15 years,’ O’Brien says.

"Some of the bigger ships, for example the G Class and post Panamax vessels of about 65,000 gross tonnes, are currently unable to come in fully laden. By progressing this important infrastructure project we have made sure that larger vessels continue to call and this will benefit importers and exporters."

The project will also see the creation of 180m of quay length for container shipping and an additional 27 hectares of land at Rous Head for port-related purposes.

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