North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is undertaking essential maintenance dredging at the Port of Weipa from early May 2020, as part of our annual maintenance dredging program. Dredging will also be completed at Amrun on behalf of Rio Tinto.

New control measures in response to COVID-19 will be implemented for the annual maintenance dredging at the Port of Weipa this year. Activities began on 29 April 2020.

Project background

We have managed the annual maintenance dredging program at the Port of Weipa for more than 30 years.

Maintenance dredging is essential to keep the Ports of Weipa and Amrun operating effectively and to ensure the movement of freight, goods and bulk products to and from the region can continue.

In the same way we maintain roads and rail lines for freight transport, we need to look after our port infrastructure. Regular maintenance dredging ensures efficient, navigable shipping depths for our port users in Weipa.

We have engaged the Port of Brisbane to undertake the maintenance dredging, which will be done using the Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge (TSHD) Brisbane, supported by a bed leveller and hydrographic survey vessel.

This year’s maintenance dredging is scheduled to commence in early May and will take four to six weeks to complete.

COVID-19 impacts

In addition to existing Workplace Health and Safety Procedures, new control measures in response to COVID-19 will be implemented for the dredging program this year.

We have developed a Project Health Management Plan to control risks associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Project Health Management Plan outlines social distancing and self-isolation measures for crew and other essential contractors required to travel to Weipa.

We and our contractors will be implementing and working under strict measures to control any risk associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

We're working closely with Rio Tinto and other port users and stakeholders to align control measures to support safe and efficient operations.

Queensland Health, Maritime Safety Queensland, Weipa Town Authority and Rio Tinto have been provided with the Project Health Management Plan.

Weipa community impacts

One of the COVID-19 measures will be the nightly closure of the commercial Evans Landing Wharf during the dredging program to maintain physical distancing with the Weipa community.

The wharf will also be closed at times during the day so that project personnel, equipment and resources can be transferred onboard the project vessels.

If you require access to Evans Landing Wharf to conduct commercial operations please contact our Port Supervisor.

We ask that the Weipa community takes extra care when out on the water during the dredging works.

The TSHD Brisbane and its support vessels have restricted manoeuvring capability.

Pay close attention to displayed warning flags and lights when on the water.

Weipa Maintenance Dredging Documents

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