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NSS is ready to swing into action at Port of Cairns as the first shipment of wind turbines arrives in Far North Queensland for Neoen’s $373 million Kaban wind farm.

Eight wind turbine sets are expected to arrive in Cairns onboard the MV Chipol Guangan in late November/early December for the project, which will involve 28 turbines in total.

“NSS will be engaged to safely and efficiently unload this cargo from the vessel to Rex J Andrews specialised transport," NSS general manager David King said.

“From there, Rex J Andrews will transport the cargo from the vessel to a nearby storage yard where the cargo will be unloaded, stored and delivered out according to the construction schedule and transport permits.”

The work requires significant expertise, particularly given the fact that these operations will be undertaken on a night-shift basis.

Ports North chairman Russell Beer said that upgrades to the project cargo laydown areas in the port were underway with HEH Civil engaged to carry out the required civil works.

“Ports North has been actively working to increase project cargo shipping through the port and to have another wind farm import its cargo through the port confirms the capabilities of Cairns as a project shipping port,” Mr Beer said.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the parts to build all 28 wind turbines for Kaban would be discharged in Cairns before being transported to the wind farm site near Ravenshoe.

“The Port of Cairns has been very successful in establishing itself as a project hub for the North, particularly for wind farm components,” Mr Bailey said.

With blades measuring in at 80m in length and weighing 24 tonnes, this extremely large cargo must be expertly handled and stored before departing for the Tablelands, he said.

“This month we will see eight of the 28 turbines arrive in the port, with the rest to follow over the next seven months – generating an estimated 27,500 revenue tonnes of cargo over the life of the project,” Mr Bailey said

The project is expected to create about 250 jobs during the construction phase and to represent a significant boost to the local economy, especially for the contractors, suppliers, transport and logistics companies involved.

The wind farm components – which include tower sections, blades, nacelles, hubs and drive trains – will be unloaded at the Cairns wharves and stored at a number of sites in the port including a purpose built 5ha Tingira St site.

The Kaban Green Power Hub project is set to generate 457 GWh of clean energy each year from 2023.

It consists of a 157 MW wind farm located near Ravenshoe and a 320km transmission line upgrade of the North Queensland coastal circuit. 

EPC contractor Vestas was provided with notice to proceed in May and Neoen completed financial close in September.

The project is underpinned by a 15-year capacity purchase agreement (CPA) with CleanCo, Queensland’s publicly owned clean energy company, for 100 per cent of the energy generated.

Below: The Port of Cairns laydown area used in the past for wind farm components is being upgraded.