BHP Billiton marked the completion of their expansion project at Port Hedland facility in Western Australia, with an official opening ceremony attended by the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure.
The US$351 million project was originally announced in April 2002 and involved an expansion of the port and rail capacity at the iron ore plant so that it could cope with a capacity of 100 million tones per year. It also encompassed:
- Establishing the new “Western Stockyard”
- A major upgrade of the dust management and handling systems
- An upgrade of the under harbour tunnel conveyor
- Establishing an additional lump re-screening facility
- Construction of a 4th shipping berth to accommodate a 250,000 dead weight tonne vessel
- Expansion of a number of rail sidings to take longer trains.
The expansion was deemed necessary to satisfy growing demand for iron ore, particularly from places like China.
Last week it was also announced that the capacity of the iron ore operations would be expanded to 110 million tones per year on the back of the recently completed expansion project.
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