Harbour logisitics nightmare for Bechtel due to high traffic

NAVIGATING harbour movements is Bechtel's biggest nightmare.

Bechtel Gladstone's general manager Kevin Berg said the construction of the three multi-billion dollar projects on Curtis Island was the biggest undertaking the company had attempted.

But despite concerns around safety in construction, the biggest risk which had to be managed was cross-harbour movements, he said.

The harbour was averaging 8-10,000 vessel movements a year before Bechtel began its work, today, there are up to 35,000 movements a month with the abundance of imports and exports, and other project work including WICET, the pipeline and tourist services.

There was a lot of complexity, with every person, every piece of equipment, every piece of rock and all materials transported to the island by vessel.

"Our traffic and logistics people are the equivalent of air traffic controllers for Sydney airport, and they have to manage the movements with the harbour master and MSQ," he said.

"They're making sure every vessel's load is calculated and engineered for how it's going to be placed in the vessel and how it's going to be unloaded from the vessel."

Mr Berg said despite vessels being owned by marine contractors, Bechtel still had the responsibility to ensure its work on the harbour ran smoothly.

"It's not as simple as saying because you've contracted it out, you don't have responsibility for it," he said.

"Even though somebody else owns the vessel we still have to hold ourselves accountable for their actions."