Port channel deepening project finished


The channel deepening project at Port Philp Bay is complete and will be open to shipping lines by midnight

November 25, 2009

The channel deepening project at Port Philp Bay is complete and will be open to shipping lines by midnight.

The project was completed $200 under budget and ahead of schedule.

Port of Melbourne Corporation Chief Executive Stephen Bradford says figures from this year’s September quarter show the need to deepen the shipping channels.

According to the figures, nearly 54 per cent of container vessels using the port were unable to load to full capacity.

"The 14 metre allowable shipping depth to come into affect at midnight tonight will completely remove this serious constraint at the port," he says.

Work on the project to increase the depth from 11.6 metres to 14 metres started on February 8 last year and included removal of almost 23 million cubic metres of sand and clay from the shipping channels.

Minister for Roads and Port Tim Pallas marked the completion of the project by unveiling a 10-metre high sculpture to mark the event.

The sculpture was a gift to the port from Royal Boskalis Westminster, a partner in the project.

The project created about 2300 jobs during construction, while port activities will support 14,000 jobs.

Pallas says the Brumby Government imposed stringent environmental controls during the project to allay environmental concerns.

As a result, the Bay is in a healthy condition, water quality is good and there have been no significant effects on public amenity," he says.br />

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