South Australia’s Adelaide Outer Harbour Channel will be widened, with the work starting in autumn 2018, according to Flinders Ports.
The project will involve removing 1.55m cubic metres of material from the shipping channel, and placing it 30 km offshore.
“The Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal is the only container terminal in South Australia. Without widening the channel to accommodate these new larger vessels, containerised trade and cruise shipping will omit Adelaide from their shipping calls,” said Vincent Tremaine, CEO of Flinders Port Holdings.
Currently, Adelaide is the only state capital in Australia that does not have a port that can accommodate larger ships.
In 2014, the port saw 37 ships exceed the design width of the channel. In 2017, the number jumped to 312. For safety reasons, Flinders Ports has only been able to accommodate a limited number of these ships — up to 43 meters wide — and with stringent operating conditions, which causes significant operational disruption and is unsustainable for the future. The forecast is for a further increase in vessel size — width increase to 49 meters — which the existing channel cannot accommodate.
The 40-meter widening will enable safe passage for this size vessel, according to the port operator.
Flinders Ports operates facilities located at Port Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Thevenard, Port Giles, Wallaroo and Klein Point.