Port Kembla Outer Harbour Tug Berth


Customer: Port Kembla Port Corporation

Contract: Design and Construct

Location: Port Kembla, New South Wales


Ports & Coastal Solutions Australia

Fast Facts

  • 270 m long breakwater
  • 90,000 m3 of imported rockfill
  • 30,000 m3 of dredging
  • 1800 m2 of asphalt paving
  • Two navigation beacons installed

When Port Kembla Port Corporation needed to replace one of the state’s oldest jetties, McConnell Dowell brought the vision to fruition and turned what was a liability into a world-class asset.

McConnell Dowell constructed the 270 m long breakwater using 90,000 m3 of imported rockfill and 20,000 m3 of rock armour. Prior to commencing the works, approximately 30,000 m3 of sandy clay, stiff clay and loose rock was dredged from the harbour floor using a Cutter Suction Dredge (CSD) and pumped one km into the outer harbour.

Other works included the installation of two pontoons fabricated in China, the installation of two navigation beacon structures secured on 610 mm diameter piles and 1,800 m2 of asphalt paving.


Situated in one of the state’s busiest ports with over 1000 vessels seeking passage each year, extra care was required when installing dredging lines through shipping channels at depths of up to eight metres.

The challenges of working within a confined footprint also meant the delivery of reclaimed slag and bulk interburden, spreading and compaction, cranage and other equipment had to be carefully sequenced to optimise the works.

Safety Management

The company motto of “Home Without Harm – Everyone Everyday” was ever-present in daily pre-start meetings, weekly toolbox meetings, Job Safety Analyses and Work Method Statements to drive safety excellence. As a result, the project was delivered without a safety incident.

Environmental Management

Prior to construction, a comprehensive study of the surrounding environment was undertaken to develop a profile of the area and a number of environmental challenges were identified, such as dredging in heavy materials, installing silk curtains, ensuring water quality and maintaining correct pH levels.

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