ESPERANCE-based Mackenzie Marine and Towage has been awarded a 10-year licence to operate towage services at the Port of Esperance.

The company has provided towage services at the port continuously since 1972.

According to a statement from the Western Australian government, Esperance is the only deepwater port in the southern part of the state.

Because Capesize vessels can visit the port, a minimum of three 70-tonne bollard pull tugs are required to operate at the Port of Esperance.

Under the agreement, MMT will provide three primary tugs and a back-up tug.

The new $10-million tugboat Lillian Mac, which was added to MMT’s Esperance fleet in April, will be the primary third tug under the licence.

Under the licence, MMT will also deliver a further two new tugs, in 2025 and 2027.

Western Australian ports minister David Michael said ports are pivotal to our state’s economic success as a connector of Western Australian products with world markets – but they need quality marine and tug services to achieve this.

“At the Port of Esperance, tug services assisted the marine pilots with 450 vessel movements to facilitate 13.6 million tonnes of trade last year alone,” he said.

“With the Port of Esperance’s large catchment and significant role in our state’s iron ore and critical minerals trade, it’s pleasing that the partnership between MMT and Southern Ports will continue into the future.”