The use of Shore Tension mooring units are a potential game-changer for Geraldton’s tourism and export industries, according to local MP Ian Blayney.
Mr Blayney, Geraldton MLA, said “I am very excited about the potential of the Shore Tension units recently trialled at Geraldton Port.
“This would be a real shot-in-the-arm for Geraldton tourism and extra business for the Port.
“Berth 2 could also be suited to regular visits of live cattle export ships, which could allow the expansion of the Midwest as a finishing region for pastoral cattle and switching of export from Fremantle.
“A number of options have been looked at to address the issue of the long- wave, or surge, in Geraldton Port. The shore-tension units appear to address it, and could be highly cost-effective.”
Mr Blayney said “I have discussed the Shore Tension unit’s potential with the Port Authority and with Premier Colin Barnett.
“The Premier is very interested in them and I expect, if the trial report is positive that he would support the procurement of sufficient units to open this window of opportunity,” Mr Blayney concluded.
The units are a Dutch invention and when deployed maintain a constant mooring line tension. Traditional rope mooring lines have limited capacity to control the movement of a moored vessel under high wind or swell conditions. Uncontrolled movement of moored vessels is a significant risk to port and vessel infrastructure.
The constant mooring line pressure applied by the Shore Tension units is designed to dampen the movement of moored vessels and enables vessels to remain safely moored in conditions that would be otherwise unsafe.
Mid West Ports has recently trailed the use of Shore Tension units to assess their performance in Geraldton harbour’s high energy environment. The trial was conducted under the guidance of Dr Tim Gourlay from Curtin University’s Centre for Marine Science and Technology.
The trial report is being drafted and we hope this will confirm that Geraldton’s under-utilised Berth 2 could be used for the safe and reliable mooring of future cruise vessels in most weather conditions.
Go to www.shoretension.nl to have a look at the units.