WA Tidal Project Inspires Development Of National Model
An industry-leading tidal study project carried out by Pilbara Ports Authority, and the resulting Hydroid for the Port of Port Hedland, is supporting the development of a national Hydroid model for Australia.
Pilbara Ports Authority’s 2013 tidal study redefined existing depths along the 42km shipping channel. This study resulted in the creation of a Lowest Astronomical Tide Model, or Hydroid, which is unique to the Port of Port Hedland.
The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping has now formed a working group on the benefits of developing a national Hydroid model for Australia, called the AUSHYDROID. The substantial benefits of the Port Hedland Hydroid will be used as a case study to support the development of the AUSHYDROID, which is expected to contribute to Australia’s ‘blue economy’. This term refers to the effective and sustainable use of maritime resources for economic growth.
International audiences will also hear about the benefits of Port Hedland’s Hydroid when Pilbara Ports Authority presents to the Global Dredging Conference in London in October 2019.
“The Port Hedland Hydroid had a significant impact on the port’s export capacity. Every additional 10cm of declared depth is equal to an extra 1,200 tonnes of cargo per vessel,” Pilbara Ports Authority’s General Manager Operations John Finch said.
“The Hydroid also extended sailing windows, potentially increasing the number of vessels from six to eight per tide,” Mr Finch said.
Pilbara Ports Authority’s tidal study gave marine operations staff in Port Hedland a more precise understanding of the navigable depths along the channel. This resulted in an increased average sailing draft of 71cm and a widening of the tidal sailing window by an hour, whilst maintaining safety and the ability to manage risk within the uni-directional channel.
This significantly increased trade capacity in Port of Port Hedland whilst reducing unit costs by allowing port users to safely load more product onto their vessels.
Pilbara Ports Authority’s tidal study project has been recognised throughout Australia, winning an economic development award at the Premier’s Awards in 2015 and a Hydrographic Excellence Award in 2017 for its outstanding contribution to the science of hydrography.
The Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Office has also acknowledged Pilbara Ports Authority’s study and survey work as the standard that should be applied internationally.
Source: Pilbara Ports Authority