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  • Year: 2010
  • Market: Port development
  • Vessel: Happy Buccaneer
  • Cargo: Caissons, drop box, outfall pipe, diffuser

The Sino Iron Project

Components for the development of the Sino Iron Project

Happy Buccaneer loaded in Penglai, China, significant components for the development of the Sino Iron Project which is under construction at Cape Preston in the remote North West of Western Australia. Cape Preston will be the site both for the processing of the ore and the supporting new port facilities.

Happy Buccaneer and her crew were instrumental in delivering and placing the first stages of the port’s wharf and desalination plant components. Three caissons were delivered of some 350 mt each. They form the basis of the port’s material offloading facility. Furthermore, a drop box, outfall pipe and diffuser for the desalination plant were installed directly on the seabed, at some 14 metres depth.

Environmental challenges had to be faced. The location is very remote and at the time also unsheltered. The vessel’s work was done in very close proximity to the breakwaters, while unusual weather patterns gave rise to strong winds and swells, very much influenced by tropical cyclone “Lawrence of Australia”. Innovative engineering and close co-operation between all parties involved ensured that caissons, the drop box, outfall pipe and diffuser were accurately positioned on the seabed. Cape Preston is approximately 40 km south of Karratha and will soon be the focus for the export of magnetite to overseas markets.

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