Port of Port Hedland expansion plans announced by the State Government provided all port users with confidence and is good news for the town, says Port Hedland Industries Council.

Ports Minister Rita Saffioti announced in January that the Port of Port Hedland development plan had been endorsed by the State Government.

The revised plan included potential iron ore capacity for 660Mtpa to meet expansion plans for major operators.

PHIC Chief Executive Officer Kirsty Danby said the announcement was a recognition that the Pilbara and the Port of Port Hedland were critical to the future prosperity of the State and that all port users required certainty around port capacity.

“All port users have been waiting for this announcement,” Kirsty said. “They will now be able to plan for the years ahead knowing that the port will be ready.

“Congratulations to PPA chief executive Roger Johnston and his team on this achievement.”

Port users would continue to adhere to strict requirements around dust mitigation.

Industry was committed to a net zero increase in dust emissions even if iron ore throughput increased.

The expansion is a 41 per cent increase to modelled capacity since the last port plan review in 2012.

Ms Saffioti said the port expansion review undertaken by the PPA would allow port proponents to invest in landside infrastructure upgrades and advance their investment and growth strategies.

The amended port development plan facilitates:

  • The development of an additional iron ore export berth, Stanley Point Berth 3;
  • A future bulk liquids berth in South West Creek;
  • The development of a second general cargo berth at Lumsden Point;
  • Increased capacity allocations of approximately 25 per cent for existing port proponents BHP, Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) and Roy Hill;
  • New allocations for the future development of Stanley Point Berth 3 – which, subject to all necessary approvals to develop being obtained, would be allocated to the recently announced joint venture between Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and Mineral Resources Limited;
  • A new Fortescue shiploader on Anderson Point Berth 5 to support exports from the Iron Bridge project.

The plan will also result in increased capacity at the common user berths within the port, supporting growth in direct shipping to the Pilbara and increased exports by junior miners.

Dredging will be undertaken to implement the plan.

The requirements are based on international navigation guidelines and simulation studies conducted over the past 12 months and are in accordance with existing environmental approvals.

Port proponents are being consulted on the key principles of the plan and formal documentation, including capacity allocations and development approvals, is expected to be finalised by mid-2022.

Ms Saffioti said the Port of Port Hedland Plan was last reviewed in 2012, when it set a total throughput of 495Mtpa.

“We have well and truly exceeded this, with the port achieving a total annual throughput of 546Mt last financial year,” she said.

“This in part was made possible by investing in world-leading maritime technologies to maximise port efficiency and safety, which has seen a 6.9 per cent increase in potential shipping capacity at Port Hedland.

“We have made changes that will create jobs and provide certainty to industry.

“This updated plan will contribute to dredging and future development at Lumsden Point.

“I look forward to the plan being finalised in the coming months, which will support the long-term growth of the Port of Port Hedland.”