The Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) has selected construction and maintenance services provider Jan De Nul to dredge the channel and improve access to Port Hedland in Australia.

The latest work forms part of PPA’s Channel Risk and Optimisation Project (CROP) aimed at sustaining the long-term operation, development and future growth of Port Hedland situated on the North-West Australian coast.

Jan De Nul has served as the lead contractor on the majority of the capital dredging works over the past several years. It also provided maintenance dredging works within the port precinct of Port Hedland.

Jan De Nul Group Oceania and Asia area manager David Jonckheere said: “We are once again delighted to partner with PPA to further develop and enhance the existing port facilities and are keen to contribute our past knowledge and expertise to the successful completion of this crucial project.”

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As part of the project, Jan De Nul will mobilise the large self-propelled Cutter Suction Dredger Niccoló Machiavelli during the first quarter of this year.

“We are once again delighted to partner with PPA to further develop and enhance the existing port facilities.”

The dredger has a total installed capacity of about 24,000kW.

The project is slated for mid-year completion.

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It will provide an emergency passing lane alongside the shipping channel, enhanced water refuge zones and increased water depth in targeted access channel areas.

PPA facilitates about A$140m of trade through Port Hedland, which currently requires the safe management of approximately 6,000 vessel movements per year.

Last month, Payra Dredging Company, a subsidiary of Jan De Nul, signed a concession agreement with Payra Port Authority for the capital and maintenance dredging of the Rabnabad Channel at Payra Port.