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EPA approves five-year extension for Albany port expansion project start date

The Environmental Protection Authority has approved a second five-year extension for the Southern Ports Authority to start its expansion of the Albany Port.

In a report published this month, the Environmental Protection Authority approved a request to extend the timeframe in which Southern Ports was required to “substantially commence” the project to November 18, 2027.

The Albany Port Expansion Project is set to include the dredging of 12 million cubic metres of sediments to “widen and deepen” the existing shipping channel into Princess Royal Harbour.

A portion of the dredged material would be used for reclamation of up to nine hectares of Princess Royal Harbour to construct a new berth.

The project also aims to extend the shipping channel into King George Sound to allow port access to capesize vessels, the biggest dry cargo ships.

Southern Ports was originally required to “substantially commence the proposal” before November 18, 2015, but was granted an extension for another five years. A report into the decision published by the EPA this month states that Southern Ports requested another five-year extension in September 2020.

The WA Environment Minister then asked the EPA to investigate the impacts of the extension. Now that the EPA has backed the extension, the matter has been referred to the minister for final approval.

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