PORT of Townsville has announced two contracts for the $193m Channel Upgrade Project, the largest infrastructure project in the 156-year history of the port.

The contracts, worth than $10m, are for rock wall construction and rock delivery.  

Queensland company Hall Contracting is to build a 2.2km rock wall, forming a protective bund around a 62-hectare Port Reclamation Area at the eastern end of the port. 

Port of Townsville general manager infrastructure and environment Marissa Wise said the project attracted highly competitive submissions.

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“Rock wall construction requires a high level of skill and experience in marine civil construction. It’s a specialised field and Hall Contracting has proved that it has the required expertise,” Ms Wise said.

“The construction of the rock wall will precede the widening of the Townsville shipping channel which is scheduled to start in 2021 and be completed in 2023.” 

Marine projects done by Hall Contracting in North Queensland include the widening of the Cairns shipping channel in 2019 as well as dredging the Ross River in Townsville.

Hall Contracting CEO Cameron Hall said his Queensland business would employ 21 people to build the wall.

In addition to Holcim Australia’s existing contract to supply rock from its Roseneath quarry west of Townsville, HY-TEC’s quarry at Calcium has been contracted to supply 43,000 tonnes of rock.

“Having two local rock suppliers contracted to the project ensures that we will have a continuous supply of core, secondary and primary armour for the rock wall,” Ms Wise said.

Executive general Manager at HY-TEC, Brett Brown, said the company hads a strong track record in delivering rock to major projects.

Environmental management, costing an additional $17 million, is focusing on marine water monitoring, turtles, inshore dolphins, seagrasses, corals and shore birds as part of the overall project. 

The Townsville Port Channel Upgrade is a joint project of the Queensland and Australian governments and Port of Townsville. The Channel Upgrade forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.

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