A study to determine the viability of a large dry dock in the Port of Portland is being supported with a $10,000 Brumby Government grant announced today by the Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP.
Ms Tierney said the study was a key step in potentially facilitating an investment on the site that could create 30 new jobs, deliver an annual turnover of $7.2 million and boost the local and regional economy by $22 million.
“The current capacity of the ageing Portland slipway is 40 metres with a 300 tonne capacity,” Ms Tierney said.
“In addition to the existing clientele using the Portland slipway, there are a range of larger vessels operating in the southern waters that face very limited options with regards to docking and servicing of their vessels.
“Portland Ocean Steel, which is the lead business in the study, leases the slipway and is concerned about the limitations of the current facility caused by its age and capacity.
“Portland Ocean Steel has identified potential new markets that could be captured with the establishment of a larger dry docking facility at Portland.
“The proposed facility would be specifically built on a scale to accommodate the new generation of rig tenders, which is why Portland Ocean Steel is keen to investigate the viability of a larger facility to dock for these and the other large vessels.
“A new, larger capacity docking facility could also provide an opportunity to capture large vessel slipping that currently has to go to Fremantle, Newcastle and Launceston.”
Ms Tierney said the study will be conducted in two stages.
“Stage one will consist of market research to identify demand for a proposed 100 metre, 3000 tonne facility or possibly one of a different configuration,” Ms Tierney said.
“If the Demand Study proves positive, stage two will be a feasibility study to ascertain the cost and return of the facility and impacts the larger slipway may have on other Port users.”
Ms Tierney said the funding for the $20,000 Portland Slipway Demand Study would be provided to Glenelg Shire Council through the Brumby Government’s Planning for Growth initiative, administered by Regional Development Victoria.
“The Planning for Growth initiative is part of Moving Forward, the Brumby Government’s $502 action plan that is helping make provincial Victoria an even better place to live, work, invest and raise a family,” Ms Tierney said.