The Balla Balla Harbour was established as a commercial harbour for goods from the Pilbara in 1898 and was one of the main export regions for Northern Australia. In 1912 the port suffered significant cyclone damage, yet the port continued to be active until the 1930’s when the Whim Creek copper mine ceased operations, but remained a designated port under the Western Australian transport Act on the Pilbara coast. Balla Balla Harbour is a unique natural harbour, well protected from the open ocean conditions and benefiting from a deep natural seabed.
BBI are introducing an innovative, efficient, low cost solution for the operation of the Balla Balla Harbour. The BBI port has been designed to operate as a transhipment export facility. This will allow the port to be developed without requirement for any dredging, significantly lowering capital costs compared to any fixed stand bulk commodity ports. The absence of dredging also provides an optimal, relatively low impact environmental solution for the port.
BBI ports’ relatively remote location, lack of proximity to any residential area and flat natural topography allows for large stockyard areas, easily extendible as demand for additional capacity grows. BBI also has the ability to purchase the underlying farm land that surrounds the port and abuts 90km of the proposed rail.
Initial installed capacity for the port facility will be 50 million tonnes per annum, with potential to expand that through the installation of additional trans-shipment vessels and shore side loading facilities. Engineering documentation for the port facilities sufficient to support a Class 1 cost estimate was completed in 2016 with input from reputable EPC Contractors with Pilbara construction experience to give BBI the most accurate capital and operating costs.
All necessary environmental approvals for the port facility have been received from both the Western Australia State Government and the Commonwealth Government.