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Jacobs Designs a First-of-its-Kind Wharf Innovation for Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto’s Amrun Project located south of the Embley River, between Weipa and Aurukun in Far North Queensland, is revolutionising the design and construction of wharf infrastructure through a collaborative approach between Rio Tinto, its EPCM Bechtel, Jacobs Engineering, and McConnell Dowell Constructors.

The project reformed the design of wharf infrastructure by moving away from a traditional stick-built design concept to a modularized facility, with the wharf split in to seven jackets, incorporating dolphins and six topside modules. Achieving a 12-month reduction in overall build time and saving over 300,000 workhours, this innovation has resulted in safer project execution by reducing high-risk work activities performed at heights and over water. 

The wharf design also reduced the number of permanent piles required for installation from 100 to 28, minimizing the environmental impact to marine life in the area—a key focus for the Amrun Project. Designed by Jacobs and constructed by McConnell Dowell, with constructability input and construction oversight by Bechtel, Rio Tinto’s state-of-the-art facility has been delivered safely, efficiently and with minimal environmental impact. 

“Jacobs brings unequaled talent and innovation to deliver more to our clients on their projects,” comments Jacobs Mining, Minerals and Technology Senior Vice President and General Manager Andrew Berryman. “Our leading-edge solution is a first-of-its-kind design that achieves Rio Tinto’s requirements in terms of safety, function, cost, schedule, constructability and sustainability.”

Innovations such as these are integral for advancing the future of the mining and metals industry in a safe, cost effective and replicable manner. Now completed, the Chith Export Facility comprising of a 650-metre access jetty and 350-metre wharf, will serve as a berth for ships while in port, once Rio Tinto’s bauxite mine becomes operational. 


Image copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto
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