Construction and dredging tender announced for $127 mil Cairns port upgrade

Cairns’ $127 million port upgrade is one step closer after the tender was today announced for major dredging and construction.

RN Dredging Pty Ltd, the Australian subsidiary of Rohde Nielsen A/S, has been awarded the dredging and construction contract for the Cairns Shipping Development Project in what is the crucial next step in the channel upgrade.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the announcement marked an important milestone for the project which is expected to deliver an $850 million boost for the region’s economy and thousands of jobs for locals.

“This is a great result for locals, with the project to generate 800 jobs during construction and close to 2,700 direct and indirect jobs by 2031,” Mr Healy said.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the tender would enable dredging of up to one million cubic metres of sediment from the port’s existing navigation channel and placing the material on two land sites, as well as upgrading the main wharves to continue servicing the larger cruise ships.

“By upgrading our port and allowing larger cruise ships to visit the region, it means visitors from across the world will be spending their dollars on local businesses and restaurants,” Mr Pitt said.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Cairns Shipping Development Project complemented the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to driving jobs and economic development in North Queensland, and to supporting the local maritime industries.

“The Cairns Shipping Development Project will unlock new opportunities for North Queensland’s maritime industry and by 2031, will see an estimated 103 cruise ships through the Port of Cairns annually,” Mr Bailey said.

“This project has undergone one of the most rigorous environmental reviews in the country, and development of the port must be consistent with our commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, with dredge spoil to be reused or disposed on land.”

Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said RN Dredging is a high performing and competitive international dredging company with a proven track record in Australia, delivering projects in Queensland and across the country over the past decade, with the selection of a dredging contractor based on assessing their experience, methods, equipment and capability to meet strict environmental requirements and timeframes.

“RN will now team up with Australian-owned Hall Contracting (HC), the largest Queensland-based dredging company to carry out dredging works in the dry season,” Mr Beer said.

“HC will undertake all civil, earthworks and pipeline construction and operation of the two land-based dredge placement sites drawing on regional providers of marine and construction services and supplies.”

Dredging is expected occur over a 12-week period during the 2019 dry season, weather permitting.

For more information on the project visit


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