The Port of Cairns has awarded the contract for the construction of a laydown facility, which will be leased to store more than 450 components for Queensland’s largest wind farm project, the Mount Emerald Wind Farm.

Local company LDI was awarded the contract to construct the facility, and Rex Andrews Engineered Transportation was awarded the logistics contract to mobilise specialised trailers into Cairns, including extendable trailers and floats capable of transporting the 120 tonne turbine generator units for the wind farm.

Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, said, “Ports North is currently constructing a specialised cargo import laydown facility at the southern end of Tingira Street which will be leased to store the components.

“This purpose-built facility will house turbine components for 53 wind turbines, which will deliver an estimated 185,000 revenue tonnes of cargo over the project life.

“It will be re-used in the ongoing development of the Tingira Street precinct for future general port industrial use.”

Minister for Energy and Ports, Mark Bailey, said the 180 megawatt and $380 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm was a huge investment in the Far North creating over 150 jobs during construction.

“It will be a spectacular sight at the port when 57m blades – nearly ten metres larger than the wingspan of a Boeing 767 – and 80-tonne tower components are delivered.

“Once constructed, these will be the biggest wind turbines ever seen in Queensland, over 30 stories high.”

Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford, said the first of the six project shipments is expected to commence in late 2017 with the final shipment scheduled for early 2018.

“The turbine components will be unloaded at wharves four, five, seven and eight, which will then be transported to the lay down facility for storage before being transferred to the Mount Emerald site,” Mr Crawford said.

Ports North Chairman, Russell Beer, said because of the unique size, shape and weight of the components, the laydown area will be over three hectares, and will require specialised ground preparation for heavy duty cargo.

Managing Director of Vestas Australian Wind Technology, Danny Nielsen, said the Cairns Port was perfect for the storage and progressive transfer of the project’s specialised materials.

“Ports North also has a proven track record working with key local agencies to ensure safe operational and road transport plans are in place over the life of the project,” Mr Nielsen said.

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