State government development application approval paves way for Port Playford

The state government’s approval of Port Augusta Operations’ (PAO) Development Application is paving the way for a new port facility to be built on the Upper Spencer Gulf.

The approval will allow for the former Port Augusta power stations site to be transformed into a modern port, to be called Port Playford, providing export shipping services to existing and future mining operations and projects in the North Gawler, Curnamona and Braemar iron ore regions.

Minister for Planning Vickie Chapman said PAO plans to invest more than $100 million over the next 18 months, unlocking $160 million worth of existing assets currently wasting away at the disused site.

“It’s estimated that this development will create more than 100 jobs during construction and 80 permanent positions for ongoing Port operations,” said Minister Chapman.

“This development will bolster the local economy and create a pipeline of growth opportunity for Port Augusta.

“There is scope for this site to accommodate a range of commodities and activities, including mineral processing,” she said.

PAO’s intention is to load commodities onto shallow-draft self-unloading vessels at the facility’s wharf, via existing rail links, to Cape-sized, ocean-going bulk carriers, moored at existing offshore trans-shipment points to the south-east of Whyalla.

“The economic benefits of this development are already materialising with the signing of legally binding commitments with key customers,” PAO managing director Shaun Shan said.

“Stage 1 of this project has already received more demand enquiries than its proposed capacity, which is fantastic news for our company and South Australia”

“The development strongly aligns with key state, regional and local development directions and will unlock significant economic benefit within Port Augusta and across regional South Australia,” Mr Shan said.

Construction is planned to commence in mid-2021 with the first shipment from the port scheduled for late 2022.