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Abbot Point wins Bulk Handling Facility of the Year

Abbott Point Coal Terminal X50

02 November 2011 - The AUD million X50 expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal was named Bulk Materials Handling Facility of the Year by the Australian Bulk Handling Review at the recent awards ceremony held in Sydney on 26 October.

The expansion of the coal terminal to 50 Mtpa which transforms the port precinct into one of global importance, is the largest port development project ever undertaken by a Port Authority in Queensland.

North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP), the port owner, commissioned Aurecon in joint venture with Hatch to complete all engineering design and tender procurement for the project. Aurecon Hatch also provided technical assistance and construction supervision as part of an integrated Owner’s/engineer project management team and prepared and commissioned all control systems software.

The expansion was a complex undertaking, comprising both onshore and offshore facilities essentially duplicating the entire terminal and upgrading of much of the existing terminal, which had to be completed whilst maintaining the existing plant operation.

Challenging conditions, including record breaking wet seasons and a volatile construction industry, which included severe labour shortages and spiralling material costs, were overcome with high quality, functional and economic design and experienced project management, ensuring the project was completed within budget and on schedule.

Mr Brad Fish, NQBP’s Chief Executive Officer, said “Despite the fast track delivery schedule we requested, and the volatility of the construction industry at the time, the exceptional commitment of the Aurecon Hatch design team, together with the contracting strategy adopted, ensured that almost AUD million of construction contracts were awarded within just 11 months. Our close working relationship with the Aurecon Hatch team ensured the X50 expansion was completed to a high quality, within budget and essentially on schedule."

Safety was a high priority on the project and a pleasing outcome was that on two occasions more than 1 000 000 man hours were worked without a single lost time injury (LTI). The site borders one of the world’s most environmentally sensitive regions, the Great Barrier Marine Park, as well as biodiverse wetlands. The design included many features that are world’s best practice for the minimisation of environmental impacts, such as smart control of water sprays to minimise water usage.

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