Move to Oakajee port could be 15 years away, says Mid West Ports Authority’s Damian Tully

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
The site of the proposed Oakajee Port, 22km north of Geraldton.
Camera IconThe site of the proposed Oakajee Port, 22km north of Geraldton. Credit: Supplied

A port at Oakajee could be at least another 15 years away, according to Mid West Ports Authority acting chief executive Damian Tully.

The Budget estimates hearings last week put the spotlight on the long-debated Oakajee project, which plans to create a new multi-user port and renewable hydrogen hub north of Geraldton.

Mr Tully, pictured, said it was too soon to say if and how an eventual move to a port at Oakajee would feature in the authority’s long-term plan for Geraldton.

“The port of Geraldton master plan does not envisage that the Oakajee port will be realised within the next 15 years, so it falls outside the purview of that port master plan. However, it takes into account that it could exist in the future.” he said.

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“We remain involved in discussions regarding the Mid West hydrogen group. We attend those meetings and keep a watching brief on them so that we can remain apprised of the situation of the port in the future.”

State Development Minister Roger Cook said he would not “speculate” on the timing of any port being developed at Oakajee.

“The development of Oakajee continues to progress according to schedule,” he said.

“With regard to whether a port is developed at Oakajee and the timing of it, that is… speculative.

“(The Oakajee access road) remains on schedule to commence construction in early 2022, with an approximately six-month construction period.”

More than 60 expressions of interest have been received to operate at Oakajee, but Deputy Director General, Resources and Project Facilitation Chris Clark said none had included plans to establish hydrogen-producing operations at the site.

“No specific projects have come forward yet through the EOI process,” he said.

“We are continuing to work with some of those companies…I guess we are looking at all the configurations of how we can activate Oakajee and what the different projects can bring to it.”

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