Eight cargo vessels containing enormous blades, wind towers and more than 450 components for Queensland’s largest wind farm project, RATCH Australia’s Mount Emerald Wind Farm, will soon transit through the Port of Cairns in a boost to local economies.
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Energy and Ports Minister Mark Bailey today announced the commercial agreement struck between port operator Ports North and Mount Emerald’s EPC Contractor, Vestas Australian Wind Technolog.
“As you can see Ports North is currently constructing a specialised cargo import laydown facility at the southern end of Tingira Street which will be leased to store the components,” Mr Pitt said.
“I’m particularly pleased to announce that Ports North has awarded the construction contract to locally-based company LDI to carry out the work.
“This purpose-built facility will house turbine components for 53 wind turbines, which will deliver an estimated 185,000 revenue tonnes of cargo over the project life.
“It will be re-used in the ongoing development of the Tingira Street precinct for future general port industrial use.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring the Port of Cairns continues to develop infrastructure to facilitate projects such as Mount Emerald Wind Farm, which bring jobs and economic growth to the Far North Queensland region.”
Minister Bailey said the 180 Megawatt and $380 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm was a huge investment in the Far North creating over 150 jobs during construction.
“It will be a spectacular sight at the Port when 57-metre blades – nearly ten metres larger than the wingspan of a Boeing 767 – and 80-tonne tower components are delivered.
“Once constructed, these will be the biggest wind turbines ever seen in Queensland, over 30 stories high.”
“Ports North successfully securing this contract is another jobs and investment generator.
“The Palaszczuk Government has a clear commitment to transition to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 which will not only put downward pressure on electricity prices, deliver future energy security and act on climate change but also boost our economies and provide jobs.”
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said, “the first of the six project shipments is expected to commence later this year with the final shipment scheduled for early 2018”.
“The turbine components will be unloaded at wharves 4, 5, 7 and 8, which will then be transported to the lay down facility for storage before being transferred to the Mount Emerald site,” Mr Crawford said.
Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said because of the unique size, shape and weight of the components, the lay-down area will be over three hectares and will require specialised ground preparation for heavy duty cargo.
“This is an exciting undertaking for our port and once again proves Ports North is a key economic driver for the region,” Mr Beer said.
“This work reminds industry that the Port of Cairns is not just a pretty face, but an important industrial hub for the region.”
Rex Andrews Engineered Transportation has been awarded the logistics contract and will be mobilising specialised trailers into Cairns including extendable trailers and floats capable of transporting the 120 tonne turbine generator units.
Managing director of Vestas Australian Wind Technology, Danny Nielsen said the Cairns Port was perfect for the storage and progressive transfer of the project’s specialised materials.
“Ports North also has a proven track record working with key local agencies to ensure safe operational and road transport plans are in place over the life of the project,” Mr Nielsen said.
Treasurer’s Office: 0419 945 546
Minister Bailey: 0447 355 565
Ports North: 0418 186 293