Australia’s Port of Cairns will soon be ready to welcome larger cruise ships after the Queensland government announced an AUD 127 million (USD 89.9 million) contract for the dredging and construction works as part of the Cairns Shipping Development Project.
The project is aimed at allowing bigger ships to enter the port and boosting the number of visiting cruise ships.
RN Dredging Pty Ltd, the Australian subsidiary of Rohde Nielsen A/S, has been awarded the dredging and construction contract and will work with Queensland-based dredging company Hall Contracting for the Cairns project.
The plan envisages the existing inner harbor channel and Crystal swing basin to be widened and deepened and a new shipping swing basin, Smith’s Creek swing basin, to be established to enable future expansion of the HMAS Cairns Navy base.
The project also includes upgrading of existing shipping wharves.
Once the upgrades are completed, the port is expected to attract 103 cruise ships annually by 2031, it was noted.
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, said the tender would enable dredging of up to one million cubic meters of sediment from the port’s existing navigation channel and placing the material on two land sites.
Dredging is expected to occur over a 12-week period during the 2019 dry season, weather permitting. The first larger cruise ship is expected to enter the upgraded channel in late 2019.