BHP Billiton to invest $240m in new tugs and tug harbour


Mining major BHP Billiton has announced a $240m approval to purchase six additional tugs and construct a new eight pen Tug Harbour at Hunt Point in the Port Hedland Port in Australia.

According to the company, the investment will also include the upgrade of workshop facilities, operational and service berths, as well as two small boat moorings located at the existing Nelson Point Tug Harbour.

BHP Billiton Iron Ore president Jimmy Wilson said: "The project will mitigate the risk of a channel blockage by ensuring the continued safe escort of vessels in and out of the Port Hedland Inner Harbour.

"The project will mitigate the risk of a channel blockage by ensuring the continued safe escort of vessels in and out of the Port Hedland Inner Harbour."

"This project will enable BHP Billiton to safely meet projected demand for tug services and effectively manage shipping risk for all users of the Port Hedland Port."

Following the upgrade, the new Harbour will be improved compared with previous designs.

The facility will require minimal dredging and marine-based infrastructure and has less environmental and visual impact.

BHP Billiton said earthworks are set to begin in the December. Construction is expected to be complete in September 2016.

During construction, the project is expected to create up to 200 jobs in Port Hedland.