First ‘green’ port under development in Australia
By World Infrastructure Journal-
Gascoyne Gateway, the first ‘green’ deep-water port is under development in Western Australia. Making an industry-leading commitment to environmental protection, it hopes this will set the benchmark for major infrastructure projects.
Uniquely, environmental regeneration initiatives have been incorporated into every stage of the $300 million single jetty port development rather than added retroactively. Perhaps most importantly, even its Exmouth location was chosen to reduce its impact on the environment. This is uniquely situated to reduce emissions from carbon-heavy trade and logistics as well as minimise the risk of waste, such as sand and silt escaping into the Exmouth Gulf.
Michael Edwards, Managing Director of Gascoyne Gateway explained “the port will enable customers to reduce costs due to the lower cost of transport to mine sites and other projects and reduce shipping and road freight, increase productivity due to the quicker turn-around time for parts and equipment and improve safety through the reduction in heavy vehicle haulage."
From identifying ‘at risk’ species on the site to using carbon offsetting construction methods, the scheme has kept environmental protection at every stage of development. This will also continue once the scheme is operational in 2025 as the port will:
- Use renewable energy to produce potable water for the local community
- Introduce better marine management throughout the Gulf to regulate the movement of larger vessels
- Develop a solar farm and battery storage to power the jetty
- Install a marine structure that encourages coral to grow
- Co-fund an annual grass seeding programme to increase carbon storage capacity
Mr Edwards said on the development: “Other ports have added green initiatives after they’ve begun operating, but Gascoyne Gateway will be designed to improve environmental outcomes from the outset.
“This industry-leading commitment makes it the first green and regenerative port in Australia and possibly the world, combatting climate change and leaving the environment better than we found it.
“We believe Gascoyne Gateway will set the benchmark for this type of infrastructure worldwide. ”
With an ever-growing need to protect the environment and overcome the climate crisis, infrastructure projects still lag woefully behind in incorporating this into every stage of delivery. While this may be the first ‘green’ port, it cannot be the last.
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