KIMBERLEY Ports Authority has posted a profit of $2.56 million before tax and dividend in the 2021-22 financial year.

The port authority attributed the growth to trade turnaround and support from the state government. The ports had forecast a $3 million loss for the 2021-22 financial year.

Government support included $600,000 for Western Austrlaia’s Covid-19 recovery plan projects, and a $2.5 million subsidy to defray the costs of taking responsibility for the Kimberley ports.

KPA said it also received $1.5 million of a $3 million equity injection to offset previous years’ trade downturn and losses.

A total of 1662 vessels visited Kimberley ports throughout 2021-22, with 2.3 million tonnes of cargo imported and exported during the period.

Trade for Port of Broome reportedly returned to pre-pandemic levels and experienced a 38% increase in vessel visit numbers.

KPA reported “steady increases” in vessels visiting Broome, from sectors including oil and gas, small cruise, petroleum deliveries, small government vessels and small commercial operators.

During the year, Kimberley Ports Authority took over responsibility for ports of Derby, Wyndham and Yampi Sound, which were recently vested with the Department of Transport.

“Iron ore exports ceased in September 2021 for Port of Wyndham but nickel exports recommenced in December 2021, KPA said in its annual report.

“Small cruise vessel visits, with less than 300 passengers, surged in 2021/22 for both the ports of Broome and Wyndham.

“Port of Derby’s main activity was the barge operations servicing Mt Gibson Iron on Koolan Island with equipment, supplies including fuel; and receival of barramundi and exporting consumables to Marine Produce Australia’s Barramundi farm.”