DAMEN Shipyards is to deliver a new transhipment crane barge to Transhipment Services Australia for operations at Cape York in far-north Queensland.

The Netherlands-based shipbuilder said it will supply the new Crane Barge 6324 directly from stock, enabling it to fulfil the order in a period of four weeks.

The Damen Crane Barge is equipped with a grab with a 15 cubic metre capacity. TSA is expecting to load at a rate of 16,000 to 20,000 tonnes per day. The barge is 63 by 24 metres in size.

Damen sales manager Asia Pacific Sjoerd de Bruin said, “We are delighted that we could make this happen and very quickly, in just four weeks from the initial client enquiry to delivery into Australia. Not only are we partly customising the barge during this time, we have also arranged the finance through our customer finance department.”

In July, Metro Mining contracted TSA to add a floating crane barge to its fleet at the Bauxite Hills Mine. The project is located along the Skardon River north of Weipa.

The new barge will enable bauxite to be loaded onto capesize vessels, which will enable Metro Mining to save on freight rates.

The barge will be owned and operated by TSA. The company also has a fleet of five tugs and six dumb barges that have been transhipping for Metro Mining for four years.

On signing the agreement with TSA, Metro Mining managing director and CEO Simon Wensley said the company was pleased to have reached an agreement with TSA for the floating crane barge to be added to the fleet at the Bauxite Hills Mine.

“Reducing shipping costs has been one of the major focus points for the incoming management team and conversion to capesize vessels will significantly mitigate the risk that current ocean freight rates present,” he said.

TSA joint owner Darren Hedley said Damen is renowned worldwide for its quality marine fleet, reliable floating cranes and professional service.

“Our previous experience with Damen vessels has always been rewarding and we are all very excited to welcome this new vessel into the fleet and to commence loading capesize ships in October of this year,” he said.

Once the client and class requirements are completed, a TS contractor will transport the new barge from Shanghai to Australia with an oceangoing tug.

TSA’s new Damen Crane Barge 6324 is expected to be operational in Q4 2021.