A Port Bonython fuel terminal project is on schedule to start site preliminary works by the end of the year in preparation for construction.
The $110 million fuel terminal facility will be located 20 kilometres north of Whyalla, close to existing energy distribution facilities at Port Bonython.
The project, being undertaken by Petro Diamond Australia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, will comprise of 2.5 kilometres of pipeline utilising the existing port structure and then have 2.7 kilometres of on land piping.
The pipes will be used to deliver fuel from three tanks with 81 million litres storage capacity.
While visiting Whyalla recently to tour the site with a contingent of Mitsubishi Corporation staff, Petro Diamond Australia chief operating officer Rick Conti said construction was close to beginning.
“We hope that construction will start towards the end of this year,” Mr Conti said.
Mr Conti said in the next few months, the company would be crossing the final ‘t’s and dotting the final ‘i’s as it finalised the technical design and developed construction tenders.
Construction is scheduled to take 20 months to complete with the anticipation of utilising local suppliers and the local workforce.
Mr Conti said during the construction phase, 130 to 150 jobs would be required at its peak.
“Wherever we can we’ll try to use local content,” Mr Conti said.
“Wherever we can we’ll try to use local content."Petro Diamond Australia chief operating officer Rick Conti
Mr Conti said during the construction phase it was expected that staff would be based locally as there were no plans for fly-in/fly-out workers.
While an administration office will be based in Adelaide, a site office will be located at the terminal facility and the hands on work will all be completed locally on the ground.
Mr Conti said Mitsubishi Corporate was known for its long-term commitment to its projects and having a presence in the communities the business operates in.
“Mitsubishi Corporate has a long corporate history of staying in the community where they set up their businesses,” Mr Conti said.
“They’re a long term company, they’re not a company that trades out of the asset, they’re here to be an operator and stay in the business.”
Mr Conti said the modern fuel terminal would be built to world’s best practice with overall project the product of extensive planning.
The project has been subject to a development application that extensively addressed environmental matters as well as state government environmental assessment.
“We feel pretty confident about our project,” Mr Conti said.
Commercial operations would be expected to being not long after construction is completed in the second quarter of 2016.
Mr Conti said the terminal would be operated by Coogee Chemicals, an Australian company with many years’ of experience operating a major fuel terminal in Western Australia.
Daily operation of the terminal would require minimal staffing with six to eight people required for ship loading.
Regional benefits of the project include competitive pricing, independent service and supply, enhanced reliability and security of fuel supply.