Pindan Contracting Pty Ltd (Pindan) has been awarded a tender to design and construct the $70.7 million Integrated Marine Operations Centre (IMOC), an operations facility with best-in-class vessel traffic services systems and state-of-the-art equipment.
The IMOC includes provisions for the Port Harbour Master function, dredging management, port security, marine pilot briefing facilities and an improved incident control capability.
Acting Transport Minister John Day said the centre would oversee an increasing number of vessels through the world's largest bulk export port.
"The number of vessel movements through the Port Hedland port will be 6,000 a year when the IMOC is operational in 2018, which is more than five times the vessel volume when the existing control tower was built more than 45 years ago," Mr Day said.
On-site works are expected to begin towards the end of 2016.
The Pilbara Ports Authority is also set to deliver a $120 million Channel Risk and Optimisation Project (CROP), which will reduce the risk of an obstruction in the Port Hedland shipping channel and allow port users to further optimise tonnages on their vessels.
The two-year project involves the creation of a new emergency passing lane, extension of a deep water refuge zone and use of existing deeper depths along the tidally constrained 42 kilometre channel.
The project will also optimise the use of the channel for the benefit of port users, with an extension to sailing windows, creating larger separations between departing vessels in a convoy, or potentially allowing an additional vessel to depart on the tidal window.
The Pilbara Ports Authority is working with State and Federal agencies to obtain the appropriate environmental approvals for CROP. Expressions of interest are expected to be invited from industry in 2017.
The construction will create jobs to the benefit of local suppliers and contractors
The IMOC and CROP are funded by the Pilbara Ports Authority's Port Improvement Rate, a levy charged on vessels entering and exiting the harbour, which funds capital improvements necessary to sustain the long-term operation and development of the Port of Port Hedland
Minister's office - 6552 6400