GHD Helps Port of Townsville Channel Upgrade Project

As the largest commercial port in northern Australia, the Port of Townsville is an essential component of Queensland’s transport network, but, at just 92 metres wide, its shipping channel is one of the narrowest in the country.

Image source: GHD

The 14.9-kilometre shipping channel is dredged annually to maintain navigable depths.

At present, vessels up to 238 metres long can safely access the port. However, as ships are getting larger, the port has to adapt to accommodate the needs of North Queensland’s mining, defense, agriculture, construction, vehicle and tourism industries.

A long-term, strategic development plan for the port, the $1.6 billion Port Expansion Project (PEP) includes capital dredging for channel widening, land reclamation to develop a new outer harbor, wharves, and associated infrastructure to be constructed by 2040.

Stage one of the Port Expansion Project (the $193 million Channel Upgrade Project) will deliver a wider shipping channel and a 62-hectare Port Reclamation Area.

This will allow vessels of up to 300 metres long to safely access the port.

POTL recently engaged GHD for a five-year program to monitor before, during and after dredging activity.

GHD’s collaborative approach brought together teams from across Australia and external specialists to deliver a leading practice water monitoring system to enable real-time management of channel upgrade (CU) dredging.

As a result, POTL can now undertake capital works with confidence that compliance to permitted conditions is achieved, sensitive receptors such as nearby fringing reefs and seagrass beds are protected, and reputational risks are managed.