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Australian Port Infrastructure – Existing Businesses, Competing Demands, and Project Pipeline Certainty

Australian Port Infrastructures will face unprecedented demand from current and emerging industries over the coming decades generating immense opportunities. However, realising this positive potential will not be without challenges, such as:

  • How will new offshore wind players be assured access to port infrastructures within their development timeframes?
  • What upgrades or new port developments and associated capital will be required to meet near-term and long-term targets across all industries and who will fund these expansions?
  • How will existing port users be guaranteed current and expanded access, competing against renewables projects centred around the Australian Government’s commitment to net zero by 2050?

Fixed-bottom offshore wind projects will require significant deep-water berthage and large marshalling areas within close proximity to the wind farms under development. Floating wind project requirements will be even greater, essentially transforming port infrastructures into serial manufacturing facilities, where quayside lifting and channel access requirements are even more extensive at an unprecedented scale. Australia’s desire to promote local content, where associated fabrication is performed locally wherever possible, will likely further add to port demands. Finally, the uncertain nature of early project development creates one of the largest variables at a time when industry infrastructure investments are essential.

Port demand will be unprecedented with:

  • Competition against other renewable technologies (i.e. large-scale onshore Green Hydrogen and Ammonia Plants, etc) adding their own requirements during construction and export during operations
  • A significant increase in offshore Oil & Gas decommissioning activities on both East and West coasts
  • A mini-boom in offshore Oil & Gas CAPEX in response to global insecurity
  • An increase in onshore renewable project development.

Managing current and emerging industry expectations and aligning industry and infrastructure development with offshore wind project targets, will be a key challenge in meeting Australia’s renewable targets while growing the country’s industrial capabilities.

At ABL, and sister company OWC, our port development services have been used to assist port authorities and engineering consultancies with projects ranging from concept and feasibility, through to front-end engineering and design (FEED) and detailed design stages. These projects have included marine studies for terminal modifications, port expansions and greenfield port development. Our services include:

  • Port Development
  • Port Capacity and Utilisation Studies (Operational Simulation)
  • Civil Engineering Consultancy Services
  • Marine Risk
  • Vessel Manoeuvring Simulations
  • Dynamic Mooring Analysis
  • Technical Due Diligence
  • Business Interruption
  • Geotechnical Services
  • Metocean and Coastal Engineering

See more on Australia’s Offshore Wind journey, and the key factors involved, in a series of blogs from our expert consultants.

Adam Solomons

Australian East Coast Manager

Meet Adam at Australia Wind Energy 2023 from 25-26 July in Melbourne. Book a meeting now: