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WITH the announcement of key contractors, the Port of Bundaberg’s multi-million-dollar common user infrastructure project is a step closer to reality.

The project will deliver a new bulk goods conveyor facility at the port that will provide competitive and efficient loading facilities for a wide range of bulk minerals and agricultural products.

The Australian government has committed up to $17.7 million in funding for the project, with additional funding committed by Sugar Terminals Limited (STL) and Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC), provided on behalf of the Queensland Government.

The project is expected to be commissioned by April 2023.

Federal minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government Catherine King said this is an important project not just for the Hinkler, but for Queensland, as it will ensure this vital port can expand its export capabilities and is ready for the future.

“Constructing this new conveyor facility will unlock opportunities for local producers to compete in world markets, supporting businesses and the regional economy into the future,” she said.

Loftus Contracting and construction and engineering firm e2o – a wholly owned subsidiary of Clough – have secured the construction contracts for the project.

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Gladstone-based Loftus Contracting has been engaged to conduct the civil works, which have already commenced.

E2o will complete the construction of the new conveyor infrastructure including modifications to the existing ship loading facilities and the structural, mechanical and electrical works.

Local fabrication company BME Australia will work closely with e2o on the fabrication of the main structural components, all of which will be fabricated in Bundaberg.

Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO Craig Haymes said the project is in conjunction with GPC’s strategic planning work to promote the Port of Bundaberg and surrounding State Development Area.

“It’s fantastic not just for the Port of Bundaberg but for the entire region to be expanding export capabilities,” he said.

“We’re excited to see the tenders awarded and construction starting in the coming months on the Sir Thomas Hiley Wharf new conveyor belts and towers.”

Queensland member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the project is an example of Queensland-owned assets delivering for the people of Queensland.

“Today’s announcement sparks a bigger, better future for Bundaberg’s port and for good jobs here in the Wide Bay,” he said.

Sugar Terminals CEO David Quinn said the Common User Infrastructure will enable new opportunities by providing a competitive and efficient ship loading operation through the Port of Bundaberg and to support the broader region.

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