TasPorts investing to support King Island shipping

The Port of Devonport will soon have additional capacity to support King Island’s freight task

TasPorts is investing $2.4 million in the construction of a new multi-user roll-on-roll off (RORO) ramp at the Port of Devonport to support King Island’s shipping needs.

TasPorts Acting Chief Executive Officer Stephen Casey said the delivery of this project to support King Island’s freight task is a priority.

“Through consultation and feedback we know that the King Island community’s preferred Tasmanian port call is Devonport. This has been reconfirmed in recent discussion with shippers, customers and the King Island Shipping Group,” Mr Casey said.

“A key consideration in enabling this is a fit-for-purpose RORO ramp and we’ve been able to move quickly to identify a suitable area within the port zone to undertake such a development on the western side of the Mersey River, south of Devonport Berth 5 West.

“Following the awarding of a construction contract to local Tasmanian company BridgePro Engineering, preliminary works commenced onsite in early January. Along with a new RORO ramp, the project will also see the installation of two independent fender piles to provide additional berthing support and complement existing infrastructure at Berth 5 West,” Mr Casey said.

The RORO ramp is a long-term solution and will play an important role in supporting King Island’s freight task now and into the future. The ramp is expected to be operational in early March 2022.

On completion of the ramp, TasPorts’ wholly owned subsidiary Bass Island Line (BIL) will transition its mainland Tasmanian port of call from Bell Bay to Devonport and look to cease its regular Victorian port call which has continued to see a decline in demand and is no longer operationally viable.

“In considering this transition, BIL is currently reviewing transhipment options from Devonport to Victoria. We know and understand from consultation with the King Island community that this is an important consideration,” Mr Casey said.

“This $2.4 million investment signals our commitment to supporting King Island’s freight task at one of Tasmania’s primary trade gateways, the Port of Devonport,” he said.