Port of Melbourne will extend Webb Dock East Berth 4/5, enabling more ships to be berthed at the port.
WDE was completed in 2016 as part of the Port Capacity Project with a berth length of 660 metres, enabling two vessels of 300 metres to be berthed concurrently.
The design vessel was envisaged as being 300 metres long, 40 metres beam (wide) and 14 metres maximum draught.
However, there has been an increasing number of vessels longer than 300m calling at the Port of Melbourne. When vessels longer than 300m in length berth at Webb Dock East, the terminal is frequently constrained to operating as a single berth terminal.
“The impact reduces berth capacity and vessels experience queuing and delays, adding cost and inefficiency to the supply chain,” reads a statement from the port.
The extension project will include the removal of a redundant concrete structure (known as “the knuckle”) at Webb Dock East Berth 4/5. Removal will extend the berth length by 71 metres to give a new berth length of 731 metres. This removal will restore Webb Dock East to a two-berth terminal in line with the original design objective.
The project will:
- provide flexibility for Webb Dock East to operate across two berths, as was always intended;
- restore operational capacity in response to the number of large vessels coming into the port; and
- ensure the Port of Melbourne continues to deliver optimum benefit for users.
“As you would be aware, in delivering this project we are responding directly to industry changes and the
deployment of larger container vessels into the Australian market,” Port of Melbourne CEO, Brendan Bourke wrote.
The project is expected to take up to two years to complete.