Esperance Port upgrade to cost below $200m:
The long awaited decision on the Esperance Port upgrade may have been made easier by a report that the port expansion could be staged. This will have major benefits for the "Supertown" of Esperance and the Goldfields region.
Aspiring miners in the Yilgarn region say the results of a financial study support a "modest upgrade" to the Esperance port, to aid increased output from the emerging iron ore region. The Yilgarn Iron Producers Association (YIPA) today said new results from the study, conducted by Aecom, show that a low capital and incremental upgrading of infrastructure can be used to cater for stage one iron ore exports through the southern port.
The upgrade includes a new 750,000 tonne storage shed, twin car rail dumper, ship loader upgrade and ancillary conveyors and rail within the port area. "We now have further evidence that a modestly priced (under $200 million) Esperance Port upgrade (stage one) of about 10 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) capacity is the way forward," YIPA chairman and Radar Iron managing director Jonathan Lea said.
"Strong infrastructure provider interest also supports this view".
It is the second study released in the past six months by YIPA, which is building a case for the Esperance port to be expanded as it had already reached capacity.
"A stage two upgrade, focussed on magnetite, would require the construction of a second berth, and could boost port potential above 50mtpa - this could be reached over time through a number of environmentally sound sequential expansions," Mr Lea said.
YIPA is preparing to release another study later this month, which will focus on the economic benefits of the upgrade to the state. The state government has committed to facilitating a private sector-funded project to enable exports of up to 30mtpa.
Brighthouse has worked with the Esperance Goldfields Development Commission and the Shire of Esperance on Infrastructure Projects.