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The project to widen the Outer Harbor shipping channel and swing basin at Port Adelaide has been completed.

The channel widening aligns Port Adelaide with the leading ports in the country and has been completed on time and on budget. Post-Panamax ships can now dock at Outer Harbor ensuring South Australia’s ability to operate as a key regional and global trading hub.

Flinders Ports CEO, Stewart Lammin, said the channel widening would underpin the port’s $25 billion a year contribution to the State’s economy. Since the channel widening was completed the Port has already started to accommodate the larger post-panamax ships which can carry up to 13,000 containers, compared with 5,000 containers for Panamax ships.

This week the CSAV Toconao, with a gross tonnage of over 90,000 tonnes, became one of the largest ship ever to dock at Port Adelaide.

“Port Adelaide is now on an equal footing with ports around Australia.” Mr Lammin said.

“We are already witnessing the positive impact of the channel widening as the first Post-Panamax container ships begin to arrive at the port. The ships can carry more cargo, more efficiently and enable goods to flow in and out of our state more frequently.

“In the coming cruise season we will also be able to accommodate some of the world’s largest cruise ships, which will provide a significant boost for our tourism sector.”

In welcoming the announcement, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said the Flinders Port channel widening project will help to further boost the state’s economy.

“The completion of this important project will not only strengthen our state’s two-way trade capabilities, it will also bolster our $7.6 billion visitor economy by allowing bigger cruise ships to dock here.

“There is no doubt, this development will be a key economic driver in our state, increasing our capacity and capability to export significantly more of our local produce which is great news for our local businesses and exporters.

“This investment by Flinders Ports sends a very clear message that SA is open for business.”

The project to widen the channel and swing basin took 14 weeks and was completed on schedule. Flinders Ports worked closely with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), Department for Environment and Water (DEW), and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), to ensure impact to South Australia’s marine environment was minimised during the project.

Commenting on the successful project management, Stewart Lammin said: “We are proud that not only was the project completed on schedule, but that through the duration of the works, we were able to manage any potential local environmental issues.”

“Central to that was the use of state-of-the-art equipment by world-leading dredge contractor, Boskalis, to minimise turbidity, loss of seagrass and any impact on fauna; adherence to an agreed seasonal window; and strict compliance with comprehensive risk management protocols.”

Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal, located at Outer Harbor, currently supports more than 6,000 jobs.

To mark the completion of the project, Flinders Ports Holdings held an event on October 24 where a donation was made to Stella Maris Seafarers Centre at Port Adelaide.

The Centre is one of 353 centres worldwide providing pastoral care, services and support for seafaring people. Flinders Ports already has an established relationship with Stella Maris, proving financial support for the group’s volunteers.

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