NORTH Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation’s $2.4-million Mackay Wharf 1 extension project is now complete. With the extended wharf, the Port of Mackay has the capacity to handle longer cargo.

NQBP chief executive officer Nicolas Fertin said the completion of the project is a step towards positioning the port to take advantage of diversified trade opportunities.

“The extension of the Wharf 1 access bridge by 120 square metres means we now have the capability to handle extra-long (up to  about 95 metres) cargoes,” he said said.

“This positions the Port of Mackay to be able to take advantage of new and varied trade opportunities such as rail, pipelines or renewables projects.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said investing in projects to build capacity at publicly owned ports like Mackay’s was part of the Queensland’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“Quite simply, building a bigger wharf means Mackay can attract different cargo,” she said.

New tug berth

The Wharf 1 extension is part of NQBP’s $17-million 2020-21 works program for the ports of Mackay and Hay Point, and work on its $8.5-million tug berth facility is ongoing.

The facility will include berths for up to two tugs. It will include a gangway and floating pontoon. The new facility will be able to accommodate bigger and more powerful tugs.

North Queensland-based Pacific Marine Group has been working on site at the Port of Mackay since February this year.

Project manager George Holland said the team had already completed a significant proportion of the offsite pontoon and gangway fabrication, as well as refurbishments to the northern breakwater.

“Our team is now focusing on completing electrical and civil works,” Mr Holland said.