Timber from fire affected plantations on Kangaroo Island will have an easier path to market following an agreement between T-Ports, Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania, Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers and HarvestCo.
The agreement will see the timber transhipped from a temporary facility at Kingscote using T-Ports state-of-the-art transhipment vessel MV Lucky Eyre.
T-Ports CEO Kieran Carvill said the company welcomed the recent public statement by KIPT in support of its proposal to commence transhipping at Kangaroo Island.
“It is an exciting project and will enable the long overdue timber exports to commence,” he said.
“This is great news for the local economy.
“It represents a first big step forward for the local agricultural and forestry economy to have access to an efficient interim export opportunity yielding jobs and economic benefits for the local community.
“We also anticipate it can support the future economic export of grains and pulses using the Lucky Eyre from Kangaroo Island.
“Initial work with local council has been positive as the group look to develop this pathway to market in unison with local stakeholders.”
KIPT, HarvestCo and Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania have entered into complementary and interdependent sales, supply and operational agreements that are all reliant on the implementation of the interim plan for T-Ports to tranship plantation wood products from Kingscote.
This is contingent on the approval of the application for the extension of the Kingscote wharf, lodged by Maritime Construction, and the separate approval of the T-Ports transhipment deep water bulk vessel GPS anchor points, storage site and haulage activities.
The project involves a staging facility west of the Kingscote township planned to be set up at a pre-existing grains bunker site. There is storage for approximately 25,000 tonnes of logs at this site.
Upgrades to existing ramp and piles at the Kingscote wharf will include a 3 to 5 metre extension to enable MV Lucky Eyre to dock. It will not affect public access to the jetty and foreshore area.
Initial work with Kangaroo Island council has been very positive and they have shown support for the development. Once these approvals are in place, the long overdue export of KIPT and third-party salvage wood products on the island can commence.
This transhipping operation will also deliver certainty for potential investors to progress their business proposal, backed by federal government grant, to develop a KI biomass wood pellet and biofuel power plant without further delay.
In due course T-Ports transhipping operations could be moved to Smith Bay, subject to Government approvals, however if the relevant approvals are not granted then all parties would work to extend the present 4-year lease on the Kingscote Wharf.