NORTH Queensland Bulk Ports has commenced works for a $3.5-million rehabilitation project at the Port of Mackay.

The project aims to ensure the Northern Breakwater, now 84 years old, can continue to protect port infrastructure and other major infrastructure assets.

The Northern Breakwater supports the Wharf Five, fuel and water pipelines, grain conveyors and the recently constructed tug berth facility.

Wharf Five facilitates around 50 to 60 ships each year through the import and export of fuel, dry bulk (grain, magnetite and fertiliser) and break bulk (scrap metal).

NQBP awarded the project contract to Mackay-based contractor Vassallo Constructions, supporting around 15 local jobs in the process.

“NQBP is committed to supporting its local economy and workforce and is pleased to be able to achieve this with Vassallo Constructions,” the ports corporation said.

And Vassallo Constructions project manager Damian Vassallo said the team has hit the ground running.

“These works are a great opportunity to use a local workforce and locally sourced materials to deliver vital improvements for the Port of Mackay,” Mr Vassallo said.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with several local companies throughout this project.

“Geofabric works will be undertaken by Whitsundays-based Blast Off Marine.

“All 15,000 tonnes of rock needed will be sourced from local Mackay quarries. Vassallo will be utilising its local Mackay workforce to source, sort and manage the supply of rock.”

NQBP expects works to be completed in early 2024, weather and shipping schedule permitted.

It anticipates minimal disruption to port users and the community but noted there would be more truck movements throughout the project.

NQBP said the project would be carried out in line with all relevant environmental approvals and management plans.