ON the afternoon of 16 May, specialist heavy lift ship Happy Star delivered a $35m bulk ship unloader to the Port of Newcastle.

At more than 62 metres high and weighing 750 tonnes, the bulk ship unloader is set to become a prominent part of Newcastle’s maritime landscape as the port diversifies. It will be transferred to Port of Newcastle’s K2 berth in its Bulk Precinct at Walsh Point.

Happy Star is a 156-metre-long vessel featuring two 1100 metric ton heavy lift mast cranes, which make her ideally suited to handling heavy project cargoes. The BigLift vessel had been on a two-week journey from Vietnam to deliver the crane to Port of Newcastle.


The bulk ship unloader is being installed at Newcastle Bulk Terminal and has capacity to unload bulk cargo – such as fertilisers, meals, mineral sands and various other bulk cargoes – at up to 1200 tonnes per hour.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said the arrival of the state-of-the-art unloader was a significant milestone in optimising bulk handling efficiencies at the port.

“The previous two unloaders were built in 1968 and were decommissioned in 2018 in order to be replaced with machinery that delivers the highest standards in safety and environmental management and a superior commercial outcome for customers,” Mr Carmody said.

“This investment is part of Port of Newcastle’s commitment to providing the most efficient supply chain for internationally-trading businesses and, ultimately, support the Hunter’s economic growth.”

You can watch a video of the Happy Star coming into Newcastle here.