South Australia’s Adelaide Outer Harbor Channel is to undergo a widening, starting in autumn 2018, as the port strives to welcome larger ships, according to Flinders Ports.
The project involves removing 1.55 million cubic meters of material from the shipping channel and placing it 30 kilometers offshore.
“The Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal is the only container terminal in South Australia. Without widening the channel to accommodate these new larger vessels, containerised trade and cruise shipping will omit Adelaide from their shipping calls,” Vincent Tremaine, CEO of Flinders Port Holdings, commented.
Currently, Adelaide is the only capital city in Australia that does not have a port that can accommodate larger ships. In 2014, the port saw 37 ships exceed the design width of the channel. In 2017, the number jumped to 312 and the ships continue to increase in size, demonstrating the need to be able to accommodate the rapidly increasing trend of Post Panamax-sized vessels, the port operator said.
For safety reasons, Flinders Ports has only been able to accommodate a limited number of these ships — up to 43 meters wide — and with stringent operating conditions, which causes significant operational disruption and is unsustainable for the future. The forecast is for a further increase in vessel size — width increase to 49 meters — which the existing channel cannot accommodate.
The 40-meter widening will enable safe passage for this size vessel, according to the port operator.
Flinders Ports operates facilities located at Port Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Thevenard, Port Giles, Wallaroo and Klein Point.