Fortescue Opens New Towage Infrastructure at Port Hedland

Credit: Fortescue
Credit: Fortescue

By The Maritime Executive 06-27-2019 06:36:58

Fortescue Metals Group has completed towage infrastructure at the company’s Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland, Australia. 

Fortescue has procured and constructed six tugs and leased a further three tugs, including six advanced rotor tugs 85-32W, which were constructed by Damen Shipyards at the Song Cam and Damen Song Cam shipyards in Vietnam. 

The fleet of nine tugs will be based at the new facility, located in the vicinity of Fortescue’s berths one to three at Anderson Point. KOTUG and Westug will manage the towage operations.

As Australia’s economic and industrial gateway to Asia, the Port of Port Hedland is the largest bulk export port in the world and Fortescue is the world's fourth largest iron ore producer. The company owns and operates integrated operations spanning three iron ore mine sites in the Pilbara, the five-berth Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland, the fastest heavy haul railway in the world and a fleet of eight bulk carriers.

In May, Fortescue became the first iron ore operation in the world to have a fully autonomous haulage fleet with the first Cat 789D model trucks fitted with Autonomous Haulage Technology commencing in operation at Cloudbreak.

Founder and Chairman, Andrew Forrest, said: “Since Fortescue was founded we have set ourselves the toughest stretch targets we could. We aimed to develop the world's most advanced vertically integrated bulk operations infrastructure and to seamlessly link this with our core exploration, metallurgical and mining operations.

“Our aim was to develop an integrated world leading system to deliver critical ores that would build the economies of nations. The strategic decisions made by the Board to build our fleet of ore carriers and Fortescue owned and operated towage capability mark the critical completion of this part of Fortescue’s journey.”

The new facility is named the Judith Street Harbour. Judy Street is the name of Forrest's Mum. “I credit Mum with teaching all of us the importance of courage, persistence, determination and, with Dad, kindness to all, but particularly the least socially and economically privileged among us. I have tried to apply these lessons all my life.”

The tugs are named after species of sharks.

Fortescue procured and constructed tugs:
FMG Dusky
FMG Tawny
FMG Spinner
FMG Hammerhead
FMG Blacktip
FMG Mako

KOTUG leased tugs:
FMG Sandtiger
FMG Sawfish
RT Eduard