AUSSIE entrepreneur Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest has unveiled Fortescue Metals Group’s new tug and towage facility in Port Hedland, a harbour named after his mum.

The new Judith Street Harbour at Herb Elliott Port, Port Hedland was officially opened by Mr Forrest, together with FMG chief executive Elizabeth Gaines along with Port Hedland mayor, Camilo Blanco and members of the Port Hedland community.

Fortescue has procured and built six tugs and leased a further three tugs, including six rotor tugs that were were built by Damen Shipyards in Vietnam.

“As Australia’s economic and industrial gateway to Asia, the Port of Port Hedland is the largest bulk export port in the world,” Mr Forrest said.

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“It is an economic powerhouse of our country generating countless jobs and businesses directly across the nation and supporting the standard of living of us all.”

Mr Forrest said their aim was to develop an integrated world leading system to deliver critical ores to the world.

“The strategic decisions made by the board to build our fleet of ore carriers and Fortescue owned and operated towage capability mark the critical completion of this part of Fortescue’s journey,” he said.

Mr Forrest said the final step in the process would be the naming of Judith Street Harbour.

“Judy Street is my Mum and has been a wonderful inspiration to all our family,” he said.

“I credit Mum with teaching all of us the importance of courage, persistence, determination and, with Dad, kindness to all, but particularly the least socially and economically privileged among us. I have tried to apply these lessons all my life.”

Chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said FMG operated as “the most efficient bulk port operation in Australia”.

“The towage fleet represents the final element in our supply chain, with our innovative new tug fleet able to provide safe and reliable towage services and additional towage capacity for all Port Hedland users,” Ms Gaines said.

“The tug fleet and new facilities will maximise the efficiencies of our operation and provide long-term sustainable towage services crucial to meeting the demands of our customers.”

She thanked the Fortescue team for their work, as well as the Pilbara Ports Authority, Damen Song Cam Shipyard who built the vessels and KOTUG and Westug Pty Ltd who are to manage the towage operations.

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