Western Australia EPA approves Anketell Point port

31 July 2012 (Last Updated July 31st, 2012 18:30)

The Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended for approval the construction of a multi-use port facility at Anketell Point near Karratha, Pilbara, Western Australia.

The Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended for approval the construction of a multi-use port facility at Anketell Point near Karratha, Pilbara, Western Australia.

API Management, a joint venture between Aquila Resources and Posco-backed AMCI, will be responsible for the construction of the port facility.

The approval is subject to several conditions to help reduce the project’s impact on the environment, including marine officers monitoring and reporting changes to seabed habitats during construction.

The new port is expected to handle about 45 million tonnes of iron ore from API’s West Pilbara Iron Ore Project.

Comprehensive conditions would guide the construction of the port, which is planned for a site 30km northeast of Karratha and 6km north-west of Wickham, according to EPA.

The proposed project includes establishing and operating a deepwater port with iron ore stockpiling, transfer and ship loading facilities.

Anketell Point port will have an initial capacity of 115 million tonnes per year, which is expected to increase to 350 million tonnes per year with staged development over the 20 years following completion.

Western Australia EPA chairman Dr Paul Vogel said the agency has addressed environmental factors, including flora, vegetation, fauna, surface water, groundwater, noise, marine environment, and air quality with its suite of conditions.

"These conditions include restricting impacts to seabed habitats from dredging and undertaking State of the Marine Environment Surveys to monitor and report on potential changes during the construction phase of the proposal," Vogel said.

"Managing light spill from port facilities on turtle beaches and managing vessels within the port to prevent, detect and control marine pests are also included in the conditions."

EPA said that there will be unavoidable impacts to marine habitats but most of the area affected would recover within five years.