THE largest fuel tanker to enter Port of Newcastle in its 220-year history arrived on Monday morning.

The 244metre Pro Alliance long range 2 class tanker berthed at 11am at Stolthaven’s Mayfield 7 dedicated bulk liquids terminal, a facility purpose-built for such vessels.

The milestone follows the arrival of the port’s first long range 1 tanker back in January.

According to Port of Newcastle, receiving vessels of this size is possible only due to a four-year collaborative project between Stolthaven, Port of Newcastle, Port Authority of NSW and Svitzer to expand channel capacity and accommodate deep-draft inbound tankers of up to 245 metres load on arrival. 

Project partners committed to increasing the port’s capacity via several activities, including detailed channel simulation, adding active escort tug capability to the port’s fleet and the development of a dynamic under-keel clearance system for deep draft inbound ships.

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Port of Newcastle executive manager marine and operations Keith Wilks said the Pro Alliance’s arrival was significant, delivering supply chain flexibility and efficiencies for the oil industry.

“We are proud to have facilitated the arrival of Pro Alliance at Stolthaven’s bulk liquids terminal at Port of Newcastle this morning,” Mr Wilks said.

“In our 220th year of commercial shipping, milestones such as this signify the evolving role of the port in facilitating global trade through our harbour and driving growth in the regional, state and national economies.”

Stolthaven managing director Gordon Lasker said the company had made significant investment in its fuel terminal facility. 

“The arrival of our first LR2 tanker is the realisation of a long-term investment in the dedicated bulk liquids precinct at Mayfield 7 berth,” Mr Lasker said.

“We are grateful for the proactive approach by Port of Newcastle to support not only our current business but also our future expansion plans.”

Stolthaven Australia has been operating a dedicated bulk liquids precinct at Newcastle since December 2013.

The facility is said to be one of the most advanced in Australia. A further 10 hectares is currently under development and is expected to deliver an expected capacity build of 450,000 cubic meters of bulk fuels and chemicals storage.

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