WORK is underway on the $33.5m replacement of the fender and deck of Berth 3 at Port Hedland.

The successful tenderer was Fremantle-based Total AMS, which estimates that about 75% of the project workforce will be Pilbara-based.

Originally built in the late 1960s, Berth 3 is a multi-user berth that is mostly used for the export of salt and the import of fuels. The deck was replaced in 1988 due to deterioration.

Western Australia ports minister Alannah MacTiernan said the berth had deteriorated as a result of the harsh and salty environment.

“This project will use technology advances and a better understanding of the working environment to provide a deck that is expected to last for 50 years,” she said.;

“We are committed to providing the best port infrastructure to support users to facilitate ongoing trade, which in turn will sustain local jobs and local industry.

“The project will require periodic closure of the berth however, Pilbara Ports Authority has worked closely with port users, including Dampier Salt Ltd, to put in place an agreed access arrangement and to minimise disruption to their important trade activities.”

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The project’s initial design and construction contract was terminated with York Civil, following the company entering voluntary administration and ceasing trading in August 2018.

Pilbara Ports Authority engaged subcontractors to complete preparatory demolition work and the design and material supply before inviting tenders for the construction of the project.

Total AMS will now commence construction works including the demolition of the existing deck, construction of a new reinforced concrete deck, installation of new wharf fenders and other ancillary works.

The project is slated for completion by late October.

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