BHP Billiton to continue with $20b expansion of Port Hedland

26 August 2012 (Last Updated August 26th, 2012 18:30)

BHP Billiton has announced its commitment to the $20b expansion of Port Hedland despite the reported fall in profits for FY2012 ended 30 June 2012, a first for the last three years.

BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton has announced its commitment to the $20b expansion of Port Hedland despite the reported fall in profits for FY2012 ended 30 June 2012, a first for the last three years.

Following the announcement of its 2012 numbers last week, the company suggested possible delays to all capital projects underway and a delay in approval of new ones until 2013, however has now clarified that it will go ahead with the expansion of Port Hedland.

BHP's head of iron ore Jimmy Wilson spelt out that the outer harbour continues to be an important part of the company's long-term strategy.

"Development of the Outer Harbour remains attractive," said Wilson.

"Its initial development would require dredging a shipping channel and turning basin, as well as constructing a four kilometre jetty with associated stockyards and car dumpers at Boodarie."

BHP also secured an approval from the Western Australia Minister for Transport and Port Hedland Port Authority to develop two additional berths in the Inner Harbour.

The right to develop the berths combined with efforts to ease congestion in the inner harbour is expected to boost the port's capacity at a lower cost, Wilson added.