Barge Loading Pre-Feasibility Study in the Carnarvon Region  

The Gascoyne region is strategically placed to support new mineral, resource and renewable energy projects.  A significant barrier identified is the lack of access to reliable, cost-effective marine infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods into and out of the region.  

In response to growing industry demand for port infrastructure close to Carnarvon, the Gascoyne Development Commission (GDC) secured state government funding of $300,000 to undertake a pre-feasibility study into supply chain capability.     

GDC have worked with industry to explore opportunities for a barge loading facility to service the region.  The study examined the potential for future private sector demand and financial and economic viability, progressing long term plans for commercial marine infrastructure in Carnarvon.  

Study Area 

 

Barge Loading Facility Pre-feasibility study findings 

The study’s findings indicate a barge-based solution may not be suitable or efficient for current and emerging economic and trade opportunities, particularly for renewable energy and hydrogen projects that require direct ocean access for large cargo offloading. The initial financial feasibility assessment of the proposed solution was unfavourable, indicating that the services could be up to six times more expensive than alternative locations to the north and south. 

The study’s findings are detailed in the report below. 

Multi-user Marine Facility Study – New Direction 

Industry consultation signals the longer-term need for establishing a larger, multi-purpose port facility to facilitate exports of various commodities, including hydrogen-based products. 

GDC has subsequently revised its engagement with consultants Acil Allen and their engineering partner BMT to explore a more suitable marine services concept. The updated assessment will now examine the feasibility of infrastructure that supports direct ocean-going vessel operations and paves the way for a larger, multi-purpose port facility in the future, aligning with the needs of emerging industries. Renewable energy and hydrogen project owners have expressed a need for flexible marine infrastructure that facilitates both import and export operations in the Gascoyne region. The infrastructure should be capable of handling project cargo such as wind turbines, towers, bulk concrete, construction sand, and modular items like temporary buildings and electrolysers. 

The revised study will continue to consider the initially identified prospective site in or around the Northern Carnarvon Coastline as the most appropriate location to consider an investment in marine infrastructure This location is deemed suitable due to various environmental and oceanic conditions, its location outside marine parks north and south of Carnarvon, and its relatively flat and sparsely vegetated land. 

The revised study is expected to be completed by early 2024. 

Final area of investigation - Northern Carnarvon Coastline

The Gascoyne Development Commission previously investigated the viability of developing a deep-water port North of Carnarvon. The study was completed in March 2010 by AECOM. 

The report provided a basis for initial appraisal of possible port options for the Carnarvon region.  It was concluded that significant minerals export projects would be required for any port option to be viable. The report also advised that to proceed to the next phase of evaluation and assessment for preferred sites it was necessary to collect critical surveys, geotechnical and Metocean data.  At the time of the report the most important missing data that could significantly impact on concepts and cost estimates, was survey and geotechnical data, including a seabed survey to evaluate dredging quantities more accurately. 

Bejaling Port- Final Report

Barge Loading Facility Pre-feasibility Study