TASPORTS’ tug Wilga and landing barge MV Kulanda have played a critical role in transporting almost 1000 tonnes of equipment to King Island, supporting Wave Swell Energy and its unique project to create sustainable energy from the ocean.

The 200kW demonstration unit departed the Port of Bell Bay on 8 January and arrived at the Port of Grassy in the early hours of 10 January.

TasPorts’ executive general manager corporate affairs Kate Dean said TasPorts was proud to facilitate the 40-hour transit and to be support WSE to reach this project milestone.

“With a favourable weather window, the Wilga was able to average about 3.5 knots, and took primary responsibility for towing the unit from its berth at Bell Bay,” she said.

“The MV Kulanda carried Wave Swell Energy’s subsea cable flotation gear, a dive boat, mooring lines and other equipment.

“Upon arrival the vessels helped to successfully manoeuvre the unit onto its mooring system.”

WSE project manager Tom Wilson said countless hours of hard work had gone into the project to reach this stage.

“We’d like to thank all those involved in the project from its inception up until now. Launceston and Bell Bay were excellent locations to undertake the build because there are some great capabilities and capacity here in Tasmania,” he said.

“It has been great to get local support to help put this project together, without that support we wouldn’t get it done.”

Mr Wilson said commissioning of the unit will begin shortly.

“We will be connecting to King Island’s power grid, making it the first power station in the world to simultaneously generate energy from three renewable resources; wave, wind, and solar,” Mr Wilson said.

“It has been designed to be quite mobile and we could easily deballast it, but let’s hope that King Island like it so much they want to keep it and maybe order a few more.

“This could really revolutionise power generating capacity for smaller communities around the world.”