In an exciting development in South Australia’s first farmer and private equity partnership port project, T-Ports, the transhipment vessel has been launched in China this week.
The Lucky Bay port development, a joint venture between experienced South Australian fund manager Inheritance Capital Asset Management (ICAM), Duxton Asset Management and Sea Transport Corporation, is on track to receive grower deliveries for harvest 2018, with exports from the port in the December-January shipping window.
The transhipment vessel is an 87-metre self-propelled, self-discharging vessel with a capacity of 3500 tonnes. The vessel, which only requires a depth of 3.9, in the harbour terminal, will load grain from port and unload onto deep water vessels, five nautical miles from the port.
T-Ports Chief Executive Officer Kieran Carvill said the design of the vessel was based on Sea Transport Solutions’ previously designed and built transhipment vessels, which are successfully operating in northern Australia
“The vessel was built in China by Bonny Fair Development and now that she’s been launched into the water, she will be transferred to the yard of CCCC in Shanghai to have the material handling system installed,” he said.
“The vessel is due in South Australian waters in time for exports of the 2018 grain harvest and has a nameplate capacity of up to 13,800 tonnes per day. The Lucky Bay port will be guaranteeing the standard load rate available at other Australian grain port facilities.
“The use of a transhipment vessel means we need less than 4m of depth in the harbour terminal, eliminating the need for major jetty structures and other port infrastructure, which is a lower-cost model.
“We’re excited to see the vessel launched and look forward to welcoming her into South Australian waters.”
Meanwhile in Australia, T-Ports management have been meeting with key industry stakeholders, including Member for Flinders Peter Treloar.
Work has also progressed on the site design for the Lucky Bay terminal. T-Ports have engaged local engineering firm Ahrens for the construction of the Lucky Bay port facility, while for the two bunker sites, civil contractors have now been shortlisted and interviewed for the bulk earthworks program.
“All going well, construction at Lucky Bay is planned to commence later this month,” Mr Carvill said.
“We plan to award the bulk earthworks contracts during May also, with test pitting to check for suitable gravel or rubble sources now underway at all sites.”