North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) has awarded a non-exclusive towage licence to Smit Lamnalco for the Port of Mackay in Australia
This licence is an extension to the current services at the port for escorting ships to and from their berths.
NQBP chief executive Nicolas Fertin said the arrangement supports NQBP’s responsibility as the authority running Port of Mackay, which is the fourth largest in Queensland and supports the state’s mining and agricultural industries. This licence will provide the framework required for safe and efficient port operations for the future and will come into effect 1 October 2021.
“For Smit Lamnalco, this means an extension of their current services at the Port of Mackay, under a new non-exclusive licence,” Mr Fertin said. “Regional employment was a requirement of the licence and Smit Lamnalco will maintain the existing three-person crewing arrangement of the tug vessels,” he added.
Smit Lamnalco chief executive Robert Jan van Acker said the company would continue its co-operation with NQBP after being selected to provide towage services for the Port of Mackay.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with NQBP in providing an essential service to the Port of Mackay and its customers,” he said.
NQBP followed a competitive and comprehensive tender process consistent with the state’s Queensland Procurement Policy, with multiple companies submitting proposals to operate services at the port.
Mr Jan van Acker said there should be no changes to the existing workforce. “Under the licence, the workforce will operate under employment relations management plans consistent with Fair Work Australia approvals and enterprise bargaining agreements,” he said.
“All current Smit Lamnalco employees in Mackay will be offered the option of continuing their roles working for us under the current employment terms and conditions.”
The Mackay region is the largest sugar producing area in Australia, and the port hosts one of the world’s largest bulk sugar terminals. The region also supports the nearby Bowen Basin and Galilee Basin coalfields, which produce most of Queensland’s coal.
In other ports in Queensland, NQBP has awarded a new towage licence to Engage Marine for the Port of Abbot Point. In response, Engage Marine will introduce three new harbour tugs for ship assistance.
NQBP also operates the Port of Weipa and the Port of Hay Point in Queensland.
Emergency response tugs and harbour towage will be discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s series of virtual webinars, forums, conferences and technology days in 2021 - use this link for more details and to register on the events page