Around $75 million in contracts have been awarded under the Spoilbank Marina project with about 80 per cent of spending going to Pilbara businesses.

Spoilbank Marina Project Manger John Freimanis told Port Hedland Industries Council’s Community Industry Forum last month that a decision was taken early to split the project into several packages in a bid to give smaller contractors the opportunity to win the work.

So far, four out of five major contracts had been awarded, with the tender for the final package of works closing on September 30.

Pilbara Ports Authority is leading the delivery of the project along with major partners, Town of Port Hedland, Pilbara Development Commission, and the Department of Transport.

The project is funded by the State Government, Town of Port Hedland, and BHP.

Since the project started, about 300,000 cubic metres have been excavated from the site with about 190,000 cubic metres to be dredged.

“We decided to do most excavation with landside equipment,” Mr Freimanis said. “It is more expensive to dredge than excavate it with land-based excavator, so we’ve had a temporary bund between the basin and the ocean and a pump that’s removing about 100 litres a second to keep the water level down.”

The dredging contract for the navigation channel had been awarded with the dredge being relocated from the Middle East.

Dredging has started but will not take place during peak turtle nesting season, from December to April.

Work on the marine structures, including boat ramps, pens, a public jetty, and navigation aids was due to start in September, with the public jetty with two levels to allow for the area’s tidal range to be installed in 2023.

The civil and landscaping work comprising package four is open for tender with businesses invited to register their interest for sub-contracting opportunities.

The business register will assist the head contractor with using local businesses in the first instance.

It is an opportunity to work on the $187.5 million project that will transform Port Hedland’s waterfront and improve access and safety for recreational boaters.

Businesses can register their details on the PPA website here.