Divisional News

Utah Point Berth Project

19th March 2010 –

The Utah Point Berth Project (UPBP) at Port Hedland involves the development and operation of a common user bulk export facility primarily to serve the mining industry in the Pilbara. Utah Point will facilitate the development of a number of emerging commodities producers in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as well as providing a new facility for existing Port Hedland exporters.

Qube Ports & Bulk is working in collaboration with the Port Hedland Port Authority (PHPA) and will involve an investment by Qube Ports & Bulk of approximately $50 million in addition to the significant capital investment by the PHPA and the users. The throughput of the facility is expected to be in the order of 17 mtpa of various bulk products, predominantly iron ore and manganese. It is anticipated that the Utah Point project will commence operations in September 2010. Qube Ports & Bulk has developed a detailed operating and management plan for the facility and is actively working with the users to ensure that the operation meets their requirements. Qube Ports & Bulk will operate and manage the facility.

On 17 September 2010 Qube Ports & Bulk commenced loading 70,000 tonnes of iron ore for Atlas Iron onto the first vessel to utilise the new Utah Point Berth facility at Port Hedland. This was the culmination of over three years of work for the experienced Qube Ports & Bulk team. Qube Ports & Bulk worked in collaboration with the Port Hedland Port Authority and invested over $50 million in the project. Qube Ports & Bulk designed and developed a high level of automation in the operation of the facility and has been responsible for wet commissioning and the development of operation procedures and systems.

The Utah Point facility will export up to 20 Mtpa of bulk products including iron ore and manganese for Atlas Iron, Consolidated Minerals, Mineral Resources and Moly Metals.

Qube Ports & Bulk investment includes four Komatsu WA900 Front End Loaders, eleven receival and stockpiling systems (RSS), a mobile equipment workshop and an advanced automation and control system to manage truck movements and RSS operation. This high level of automation provides the ability to operate in a safe and efficient manner.

Qube Ports and Bulk was fundamental in the design, commissioning and now operation of Utah Point and provided significant value to the project through:

Design input of the facility;

  • Project managed the investment, design, construction and installation of all in-loading and out-loading materials handling equipment;
  • Managed the commissioning of both the PHPA and Qube Ports and Bulk infrastructure;
  • Developing and documenting all operating systems, processes and procedures; and
  • Commissioning and conducting operational simulation modelling of the facility.

The Utah Point project demonstrates Qube Ports & Bulk willingness and capacity to make significant investments in multi-user infrastructure and deliver the benefits of an independent operator for all exporters.

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