Project Port Hedland, Australia

Port Hedland Tug Facilities

BESIX 'Down Under' again

BESIX and its Australian partner Decmil were awarded the contract for the Design & Construction of the tug facilities at Port Hedland, Western Australia by Fortescue Metals Group. The project included the delivery and installation of mooring pontoons, cyclone moorings, access walkways and services for the new harbour tugs to service the Capesize vessels shipping iron ore from Port Hedland.

Innovative Design Approach

BESIX developed an innovative design solution through its in-house engineering department for the cyclone moorings. These serve to safely moor the harbour tugs whenever cyclones reach the Port Hedland area and are therefore a key element for the client to ensure continuity of their operations as soon as the cyclones have passed the area. The design has been performed in close collaboration with a local established engineering firm, which created synergies and efficiencies in detailing the design to construction. The engineering team was fully integrated within the delivery team, which ensured that constructability was an integral part of the design.

Experience in the Pilbara

The project was awarded to BESIX based on the successful completion of the Wheatstone project and is a second reference for BESIX in the remote Pilbara region of North Western Australia. The Wheatstone experience allowed BESIX to fully understand the local working conditions and transpose its international engineering best practice to the local context. The preparation phase of the project was critical to its success and therefore detailed procurement and detailed planning were executed in close collaboration with the client prior to mobilization to site. This ensured a smooth delivery of the project with minimum impact on the ongoing operations in Port Hedland.

Integrated BIM model

The project included the topside services on the marine structures to operate the new tug harbour. This provide an overall solution to the client without the risk of working with multiple contractors. By integrating design of the services already at the structural design phase in a 3D BIM model, problems can be detected even before the fabrication of the structure has started.

Project details

Project name

Port Hedland Tug Facilities



Contract type

Design & Build


Port Hedland, Australia



External partner(s)



Fortescue Metals Group

Building Period

2017 - 2018

Total value

$ 21 million

Port Hedland tide

Port Hedland low tide

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