BHP Billiton invests in two replacement shiploaders at Western Australia Iron Ore

Shiploader Image credit: wikimedia commons User: Alf van Beem

BHP Billiton has approved US$301 million in execution capital (BHP Billiton share) which will be used to replace two shiploaders at the Nelson Point port operations in Port Hedland.

Shiploader Image credit: wikimedia commons User: Alf van Beem
Image credit: wikimedia commons User: Alf van Beem

According to the media release issued by the company, the two new shiploaders will make the inner harbor port facilities far more reliable.

The existing shiploaders SL1 and SL2 are over 40 years old and currently load iron ore at a rate of approximately 10,000 tonnes per hour.

Each of the new shiploaders has a loading capacity of 12,500 tonnes per hour, which is a major improvement.

The company further claims that the investment will most definitely result in the creation of additional port capacity. This additional capacity can and will be utilized as a series of debottlenecking initiatives to increase the capacity of their Western Australia Iron Ore supply chain towards 270 million tonnes per annum (100% basis), at a low capital cost.


Commissioning of the two replacement shiploaders is scheduled for the second half of the 2014 calendar year.

“This is an important investment that is consistent with our commitment to maximize the capacity of the Western Australia Iron Ore inner harbor and deliver substantial value to shareholders and other stakeholders,” said Jimmy Wilson, BHP Billiton Iron Ore President.

BHP Billiton is a leading global resources company with a purpose to create long-term shareholder value through the discovery, acquisition, development and marketing of natural resources.

BHP Billiton is among the world’s largest producers of major commodities, including aluminum, coal, copper, iron ore, manganese, nickel, silver and uranium, and has substantial interests in oil and gas.

The company’s unrivaled portfolio of high quality growth opportunities will enable them to meet the changing needs of their customers and the resources demand of emerging economies at every stage of their growth.