NT government awards Ship Lift construction contract to Clough-BMD


The Northern Territory government has said that building will be underway soon, after awarding the head construction contract for the Ship Lift Facility to the Clough-BMD Joint Venture.

The facility at Darwin’s East Arm will be 26 metres wide and 103 metres in length. It will have four wet berths for in-water maintenance, and 20 hectares of hard stand area for ship repair and maintenance works.

“The ship lift will have the capacity to lift vessels up to 5,500 tonnes such as the new fleet of offshore patrol vessels procured by the Australian Defence Force,” said Clough CEO, Peter Bennett.

“This facility will be constructed to meet the current and long-term needs of the Department of Defence and the Australian Border Force and the needs of the general fishing and maritime sector.”

Navigation simulations and 3D hydraulic modelling for the project were completed in June 2023 for the ship lift design to ensure it is fit for purpose, the NT government said on Friday. The NT EPA granted approvals in July 2023.

“Over the past 12 months, we have been working hard to ensure construction can begin as soon as the head contract is awarded,” said Eva Lawler, the NT’s territory development minister.

The Clough-BMD JV was named preferred contractor for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services in June last year.

The NT government expects 250 to be employed at the peak of construction, an average of 100 workers on-site throughout, and for it to “perpetuate hundreds of local jobs within the maritime support sector” when complete.

The project has suffered delays, and a two-year build was originally planned to commence in 2021.

The NT government was awarded a $300 million loan for the project by the federal government’s Northern Australia Investment Facility in November 2019.

Clough entered voluntary administration in late-2022, and in February its  Australia and Papua New Guinea business became part of Webuild.

Picture: credit Clough

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