Cape Lambert Port B, Phase A and B Project
BigLift Shipping has played an important role in the transportation and installation of wharf modules for Rio Tinto over a number of years. We commenced our involvement in shipping wharf decks for Rio Tinto in 2005 with the Parker Point Expansion project (2 berths), followed by the Cape Lambert 80mtpa expansion (2 berths) and culminating in Cape Lambert Port B Phase A (2 berths) and Phase B (2 berths) .
The Cape Lambert Port B facility began exporting its first iron ore in August this year, and construction on Phase B is continuing as we go to press. Whilst we enjoyed the relative ‘peace and quiet’ of the construction of the Phase A berths, it becomes a more challenging operation for all concerned when we have to cope with two ‘live’ operating berths immediately astern of the Phase B berths. As a result of the Phase A berths becoming operational, there is the added complexity of large Cape-size bulk carriers coming and going, as well as an active shiploader and conveyor system.
On completion of its scope on the Port B project, scheduled for the end of this year, BigLift will have carried 34 dolphins and 20 wharf modules over 15 separate shipments. Our Happy D Class vessels (2 x 400 mt cranes) carried the majority of Dolphins, Happy Buccaneer (2 x 700 mt cranes) carried the Phase A wharf modules and Happy Sky (2 x 900 mt cranes) is in the process of carrying the wharf modules for Phase B. For the newly delivered Happy Sky these Phase B wharf modules were her first cargo.
Additionally, BigLift has been involved in carrying the port area stackers, reclaimers and ship loaders for this project, involving another six complete shipments.
This project would not have been the success it is without the superb cooperation of Rio Tinto, Sinclair Knight Merz, John Holland and the BigLift Engineering and Operational teams. We have faced a number of challenges due to the extreme weights and sizes of the modules involved and the weather conditions at the port but with the typical Australian ‘Can Do’ attitude all have been solved in a safe, expedient manner.
When finished, this will be BigLift’s 16th completed modularised berth construction for the mining industry in Western Australia and we are proud to have helped contribute to the Australian economy in such a significant way.