Contractor delays put back WICET trial

SLOW contractors on the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal project have led to some pre-commissioning work being delayed.

Although the project is still on target for its March 2015 completion date, WICET CEO Robert Barnes told The Observer that bringing in a trial vessel would not be going ahead in November as planned.

"We were looking to have a vessel in, which would be a trial pre-commissioning operation on the 24th of November," he said.

"But even when that vessel came in, there was a lot of commissioning work we had to do between then and March to prove it was up to specification.

"Some of the contractors on the site have been a bit slow in finishing some of their work, so that's why we've had to move the ship date, but the end date was always going to be the end of March."

Mr Barnes said although they were still on track, "we would have liked to have the vessel in a bit earlier to test a lot more and give us a bigger buffer zone".

"We've set a date of 15th of March for that vessel; that's the target for us."

In the meantime, he said, the 6km overland conveyor was working, and a load of coal was already on site going through commissioning works.

"We're about 95-96% complete. It's a big project and when all's said and done it will be close to $4 billion," Mr Barnes said.

Topics:  coal gladstone harbour shipping wicet

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