THE INSTALLATION of Australia’s first wind fences is nearing commencement in Port Hedland with BHP having awarded the contract to CIMIC Group’s CPB Contractors.
Standing 30 metres tall and spanning two kilometres, the fences are designed to reduce dust emissions as part of BHP’s $300 million Pilbara Air Quality Program.
The fences are designed to withstand unique weather conditions and cyclones in the Pilbara. They will include mesh panels to reduce wind speeds, shielding BHP’s stockpiles and reducing the potential for dust lift-off.
They are expected to abate dust emissions in current operations and ensure no net increases in dust emission should operations expand over time.
BHP port general manager Cindy Dunham said the wind fences will be constructed using global best practice dust management and air quality control technology.
“The investment forms part of our Pilbara Air Quality Program and demonstrates our commitment to the region and contribution to the revitalisation of the West End,” Ms Dunham said.
“The wind fence project is a key part of our commitment towards continued improvement of our existing dust control measures as we look to continue growing production over time.”
“We look forward to working with CPB Contractors on this exciting project, which will help control dust emissions in Port Hedland while also continuing to provide jobs and economic opportunity for the region.”
The three fences will be built at BHP’s Nelson Point and Finucane Island operations, with construction expected to commence in August this year. It will take 14 months to complete.
Andrew Giammo, CPB Contractors general manager WA, SA & NT, said the environmental project would provide lasting benefits for the Port Hedland community.
“Construction of the wind fences will involve the fabrication of 3000 tonnes of structural steel – this work will be undertaken here in WA and will be a major boost to local industry,” he said.
“Throughout the life of the project, we’ll also be looking to maximise opportunities for Indigenous businesses and employment.”
Up to 150 employees are expected to be involved in the construction of the project, with First Nations Australians accounting for up to 10% of the workforce.