New moorings help port operations during extreme weather

SIMEC Mining and its Whyalla Port operation will be improving safety conditions and the efficiency of its iron ore barges with the installation of two permanent moorings 4km and 10km from the port.

The two ‘storm proof’ moorings will provide a refuge for the barges, which transport iron ore from the port’s harbour facilities to ocean-going vessels, during extreme weather.

Executive General Manager Iron Ore Operations Jacqui Higgins said the moorings meant the barges would spend less time travelling to and from the port when the weather conditions change.

“These moorings are designed as a safe refuge for our transhipping barges in anything up to cyclonic conditions, regardless of whether fully loaded or completely unloaded,” Ms Higgins said.

“They not only add an extra degree of safety for the barges and the crews operating them, they also save time and make our overall transhipping operation more efficient.”

The moorings will be installed by contractor Maritime Constructions with work starting the week of Monday 26 June (weather permitting) with an estimated completion at the end of July. Maritime Constructions is no stranger to the region having built the award-winning Whyalla “loop” jetty and was also responsible for the upgrade of many flashing Offshore Navigation Beacons that can be seen from Hummock Hill.

The new moorings will be visible for navigation purposes for both commercial and recreational vessels.

“The bright yellow buoys will be lit up at night while moored vessels will display appropriate lights and shapes to protect against collisions,” Ms Higgins said.

“Once installed, the buoys will have a circle of about half a kilometre when a barge is moored to account for a swing of approximately 250m from the point of anchor, that the public should avoid.”

The moorings are being installed on the back of a full risk assessment and consultation with the necessary government and environmental authorities, including approval from the Department for Infrastructure and Transport.

The design and placement will also minimise disturbance to the seabed and ensure minimal impact to the local environment.

More detailed information will follow upon completion of the program. For any queries, please email or call 0447 039 358.

Media enquiries to Kelly Fedor – Media and External Communications Manager +61404003175

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