In one of Australia's most remote areas, with scant local facilities and weather that at this time of year fluctuates from hot and humid to hot with torrential downpours, a US$1.9 billion project employing roughly 600 people is underway: the construction of a mine and port that promise to expand production at a major bauxite deposit.
The Weipa, North Queensland-based Amrun project is expected to provide jobs and boost the economy of Cape York and Queensland for several decades. Bauxite, the mineral that's being extracted here, is used in aluminium production, which goes into everything from building materials to food packaging.
As part of the project, Sarens client Civmec requested the ocean and land transport of several pre-fab modules from the Port of Henderson in Perth to Weipa, the final destination. Working at the height of the rainy season, with constant downpours, the Sarens team coordinated the successful transport of six 1.300 modules, plus a variety of smaller loads.
Sarens undertook two voyages to complete the operation, plus an additional ~35km of land transport to the project site. To pull it off, the team deployed a roll-on / roll-off vessel, cargo vessels, and 60 axle lines SPMTs with a smooth PJ250 jacking system.
First, Sarens used its roll-on/roll-off vessel to transport the modules from Perth to the project port facilities, which weren't suitable to accommodate vessels of this size. To overcome this challenge, Sarens executed a vessel-to-vessel transfer of the modules from the roll-on/roll-off vessel to a barge, which delivered them to port. SPMTs were used for the transfer, against a backdrop of changing tidal conditions.
Once at the port, the modules were driven off the barge and transported to the actual project site approximately 35km away.
"The location was very remote, the weather was very hot, and during the execution of the project there was rain season with heaps of rain," says Senior Project Manager Dirk Vinck. "Despite all the above challenges, the transport proceeded as planned, and even faster than foreseen."
Sarens thanks all the team members who made this project a success, and invites you to view the video of the operation here.