WESTUG has been tapped to continue providing towage services at Rio Tinto’s iron ore ports of Cape Lambert and Dampier in the Pilbara.
The new contract, valued at more than $200m over five years, covers the four terminals at Rio Tinto’s two ports in the Pilbara, which last year shipped a combined 330.1m tonnes of iron ore.
Under the contract, Westug will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of Rio Tinto’s tug fleet of 11 vessels, in addition to four smaller craft.
Westug has also agreed to an “enhanced local procurement strategy” under the contract, focusing on commitments to boost the relativity of Pilbara-specific spending and maximising their footprint in the local community.
Rio Tinto iron ore managing director rail, port and core services Ivan Vella said towage operations and vessel maintenance are a critical element in the supply chain.
“Rio Tinto has a long history of working with Westug at our ports and this new contract is an endorsement of both the value and opportunity available in the next phase of our relationship,” he said.
“Importantly, Rio Tinto’s values around local procurement align with those of Westug’s and we look forward to seeing the benefits of this approach flow through to local businesses and workers in the Pilbara.”
Rio Tinto’s marine operations unit is responsible for more than 4000 vessel movements per year at the two ports.