BMT JFA Consultants (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, a international engineering and risk management consultancy, has been commissioned by Pilbara Iron Company Pty Ltd (part of the Rio Tinto Group) to provide specialist dredging consultancy services.
The primary objective of this work is to prepare a Maintenance Dredging Plan (MDP) for Rio Tinto’s iron ore export operations at the ports of Dampier and Cape Lambert on the North-West coast of Western Australia.
The MDP will provide a wide-ranging review of all dredging-related activities at the ports of Dampier and Cape Lambert. BMT will review and analyse existing sedimentation, accretion and infill rates, as well as prevailing metocean and environmental conditions, to ensure that the MDP accurately reflects the existing situation.
The MDP will provide detailed guidelines for Rio Tinto maintenance staff on forecasting, planning, specifications, proposed frequency and estimated quantities for all maintenance dredging. The MDP will also detail a proposed program and specifications for hydrographic surveys to reflect the ongoing dredging requirements for channels, berth pockets, turning basins, tug harbours and associated activities.
BMT will also assess and review long term trends, considering metocean conditions and port operating criteria, to develop a cost/benefit analysis of maintenance dredging operations versus operational throughput/tonnage. Improving overall port throughput, by increasing shipping drafts and reducing loss of hold capacity due to draft constraints at low water, will be assessed.
Tim Green, Managing Director of BMT JFA Consultants explains: “It is imperative that we develop the MDP as part of the bigger picture so it can be integrated within Rio Tinto’s asset management and maintenance systems.”