Australia’s Port of Newcastle has launched the development of a bulk terminal at Walsh Point, Kooragang Island, New South Wales, Australia, in order to diversify its trade.

Development of the Newcastle Bulk Terminal will be carried out as part of a $33m investment made by the port in bulk cargo handling equipment, related infrastructure and additional strategic initiatives. It also represents the first phase of the Walsh Point Master Plan.

The investment will see the demolition of the port’s existing crane unloader infrastructure to add new high-capacity ship unloader, development of temporary mobile hopper unloading infrastructure, and direct provision of environmental services at the new terminal by the port.

It also covers the implementation of direct management of the terminal by the port to ensure the execution of core port principle of common user access at the terminal.

Newcastle Bulk Terminal will be created by combining the port’s Kooragang 2 berth with Kooragang 3.

Both the berths are currently being used to handle fertiliser, meals, alumina, magnetite, cement and various bulk liquid commodities.

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Port of Newcastle Operations and Infrastructure executive manager Keith Wilks said: “The Newcastle Bulk Terminal will deliver best practice in safety and environmental management, while driving efficiency and maximising trade growth.

“The Newcastle Bulk Terminal will deliver best practice in safety and environmental management, while driving efficiency and maximising trade growth.quot;

“We have listened to our customers, who have requested more capacity to grow their cargo volumes, and to the NSW Environment Protection Authority, which wants to see best practice in cargo handling.

“The new equipment will deliver on both fronts, providing state-of-the-art environmental capabilities, and delivering faster unloading to enable customers to access the berth quicker, reducing vessel turnaround times and moving more cargo across the berth.”

Under the second phase of the Walsh Point Master Plan, Port of Newcastle plans to reduce its cargo double handling and cargo transfer points, as well as remove trucks from the berths using conveyor systems.

The port has selected Kerman Contracting to carry out most of the development works. The project is expected to be completed next year.