PORT OF MELBOURNE TO CLOSE BERTHS FROM JULY
Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) will likely close some of its berths from July to make way for construction that will create additional container capacity. Berths 3, 4 and 5 at Webb Dock East will be closed from July 1 for the construction of the new automotive wharf and waterside infrastructure costing around $400m. PoMC has appointed maritime works contractor McDonnell Dowell for the task. It will work on upgrading and modifying the wharves to accommodate the needs of ships docking at the port’s new international container terminal. Dredging work to deepen the shipping berths and the removal of around 2.3m cu metres of material under environmental management controls are also part of the plan. If McDonnell Dowell decides it necessary to use berths 3, 4 and 5 for delivery of project materials, it will be required to seek exemptions and approval from the harbour master, along with any other applicable statutory approvals. PoMC notes that the exact details of date and time in relation to the formal closure of the berths at Webb Dock East will be announced by the harbour master in the near future. Shipping lines and agents are advised by the PoMC to liaise directly with the terminal operator in the lead-up to the formal closure of the berths. The project’s completion will commence the commissioning of Melbourne’s third international container terminal which is expected to begin operations by late 2016.