International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

BMT Secures Maintenance Dredging Planning Contract for Rio Tinto

BMT JFA Consultants (BMT) of Western Australia a subsidiary of engineering and risk management consultant BMT Group Ltd. has been commissioned by Pilbara Iron Company Pty. Ltd. (part of the Rio Tinto Group) to provide specialist dredging consultancy services. The objective 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 northwest coast of Western Australia.

The MDP will provide a wide-ranging review of all dredging-related activities at both ports. To ensure the plan reflects the existing situation BMT will review and analyze existing sedimentation accretion and infill rates as well as prevailing metocean and environmental conditions.

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 propose a program and specifications for hydrographic surveys to reflect the ongoing dredging requirements for channels berth pockets turning basins tug harbors 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. It will also assess the possibility of improving overall port throughput by increasing shipping drafts and reducing loss of hold capacity due to draft constraints at low water.

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.”