THE Pilbara Ports Authority handled a whopping 724.7 million tonnes of throughput over the past 12 months.

The PPA said this massive throughput is a record, following the previous financial year’s numbers, which showed its throughput exceeding 700 million tonnes for the first time.

Over the past five years, PPA has seen a year-on-year increase in throughput of 14%.

PPA CEO Roger Johnston said the organisation’s strong performance was a result of improved port efficiencies, which has helped to meet the strong demand for iron ore exports.

“The investment to increase the Port of Port Hedland’s capacity is paying off, with the enhancements resulting in an expanded shipping window to enable more vessels to sail on high tide per year, as well as increasing the amount of product that can be safely loaded onto vessels,” Mr Johnston said.

“Pilbara Ports Authority has contributed to Western Australia’s enviable economic position, with the value of commodities passing through our ports in 2020-21 estimated to be in excess of $155 billion – this is a 29% increase compared to the previous year.

“This is a testament to the ports continuing to operate at full capacity throughout COVID-19, with Pilbara Ports Authority navigating border closures and strict maritime regulations to deliver safe and reliable operations for the benefit of the resources sector and the State of Western Australia.”

Other key achievements for 2020-21 include:

  • The Port of Port Hedland was named Port of the Year at the 2020 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry awards.
  • Port Hedland and Dampier ports received biosecurity approvals to enable them to receive direct maritime freight from international ports for the first time.
  • The Port of Dampier Land Use Master Plan was released, which charts the direction of growth and future development needs of the Port for the next decade.
  • The Port of Port Hedland welcomed its first LNG-fuelled bulk carrier, the Panama-flagged HL Green.
  • The 10th anniversary of Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility in Port Hedland
  • 34 organisations supported through the Community Support Initiative
  • 11 properties acquired by Hedland Maritime Initiative, PPA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, and a further 22 properties with executed contracts progressing to settlement.
  • Breaking of ground for the Spoilbank Marina in Port Hedland