Wiggins Island Coal Terminal (WICT) was the first development to use Cape size vessels upstream of RG Tanna Coal Terminal (RGTCT) at the Port of Gladstone.
The only option for Cape size vessels leaving WICT in the current channel configuration is to navigate the flood tide through the Clinton Channel. The use of this route requires vessels to pass within 80 metres of other vessels moored at the RGTCT wharf.
The passing of vessels in such close proximity causes the water to displace and results in vessel interaction. The force of the water may be strong enough to break mooring lines and, in extreme circumstances, cause a vessel to break away from its berth, resulting in vessel collisions.
Such an incident could result in substantial expense through the recovery of the vessels and blockage of the channel. It could also create a major incident within the protected marine environment.
Since the commencement of operation of WICT in April 2015 a number of vessels have pulled away from their berths at RGTCT wharf.
To address the situation, the Regional Harbour Master has implemented an administrative (manual) control system and GPC has actioned a series of temporary mitigation activities to reduce the potential impact and damage to RGTCT infrastructure.
These are not sustainable mitigation measures.
The Clinton Vessel Interaction Project (CVIP) aims to provide a permanent solution.
The CVIP will address the current situation by widening the Clinton Channel to increase the distance between vessels. This involves moving approximately 800,000m3 of material.
The proposed new footprint will extend to include a small wedge between the Clinton Bypass Channel and Clinton Channel. This additional area will enhance the safe navigation for outbound vessels (Panamax or smaller vessels departing Fisherman’s Landing, LNG and WICT) as they move from the Targinie Channel into the Clinton Bypass Channel.
The removed material will be placed into an existing reclamation area which can readily accommodate the estimated volume of material expected.
This project is consistent with the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015.
Economic, environmental and social sustainability underpins everything we do. As such, GPC has worked to ensure environmental monitoring is a significant component of this project and will include (but is not limited to):
Benthic Photosynthetic Active Radiation (light) monitoring
Water quality monitoring.
The Port of Gladstone is a Priority Port Development area within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The CVIP is consistent with the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Commonwealth of Australia 2015).
This project is a controlled action and has received Federal Government approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) following a detailed assessment. This approval was received in July 2019 with State Government approval received in March 2019.
In addition to comprehensive environmental monitoring being performed by GPC staff, we have engaged third party environmental specialists to undertake the works and to provide technical advice.
Gladstone Ports Corporation is undertaking turbidity (water clarity) and light monitoring at a range of sites throughout Port Curtis to ensure comprehensive environmental monitoring during delivery of the Clinton Vessel Interaction Project.
At these sites, we have installed equipment linked to a telemetry system so we can keep a close eye on the readings and minimise any impact to the environment and sensitive receptors (such as seagrass) through a range of proactive measures.
It is important to note there are several factors that can have profound effects on turbidity and light parameters, such as tides, wind and rain, which can cause them to exceed their respective limits.
If limits are exceeded, we will proactively initiate investigations to determine the likely cause/s of elevations and work closely with third party experts and regulators.
GPC will continue to keep the community fully informed of developments related to this project.
For more information regarding the CVIP, please email or phone our Corporate and Community Relations Team on 1800 243 GPC.