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Local steel for new jetty

7 November 2019

Key Information

  • Approximately 140 tonnes of locally rolled steel will be used to build the innovative $6.5 million Whyalla jetty   
  • Steel stripped from the old jetty will be recycled by LIBERTY Primary Steel’s Whyalla Steelworks
  • Whyalla City Council has pursued a policy of engaging local firms and labour as much as possible

Work has begun on Whyalla’s new jetty, which is being built using steel supplied by InfraBuild Steel Centre and with the help of local labour.

Local businesses have pulled together to begin work on the new Whyalla City Council Jetty, which is being built with steel manufactured at the LIBERTY Primary Steel Whyalla Steelworks and supplied by InfraBuild Steel Centre Whyalla.

The $6.5 million restoration project is a partnership between the City of Whyalla, GFG Alliance, the South Australian government – which is contributing $1m towards the construction costs – and the Whyalla community.

The innovative new jetty is being built by South Australian company Maritime Constructions, which has completed hundreds of marine projects, including similar jetties in Wyndham and Monkey Mia in Western Australia. Whyalla City Council is managing the product to ensure economic benefits flow to the Whyalla community.

Local participation the priority

Whyalla City Council CEO Chris Cowley said Whyalla is already reaping the benefits of the decision to maximise the use of local materials and labour.

(Image courtesy Jon Ortlieb)

Approximately 140 tonnes of structural steel beams and columns will be supplied by InfraBuild Steel Centre’s Whyalla branch, with the first shipments of local steel already sent to local company Ferretti International for fabrication.

Steel from the old jetty arriving at the Whyalla Steelworks

Steel stripped from the old jetty will also come full circle. It will be recycled using the same process that was used to manufacture the steel for the original jetty more than 40 years ago at the Whyalla Steelworks.

Steel being unloaded at the scrapyard

“We could have bought a jetty off the shelf from some overseas company with overseas materials, labourers and suppliers,” says Cowley, “but the fact we’ve managed this project means we are seeing work flow to local companies and local workers with new jobs being created.

“As a council we couldn’t be more proud. It has been a long time in the planning but I am so excited that the community can now start to touch, feel and take ownership of this jetty as it takes shape.”

Giving back to the community

GFG Alliance Media and Communications Manager Sean Kelly said the company is proud to be associated with a project that means a great deal to the Whyalla community. He said GFG Alliance Chairman Sanjeev Gupta has shown a personal interest in ensuring the current dilapidated jetty is replaced with one of international standard.

“This is truly local steel – made from iron ore from South Australia’s Middleback Ranges and processed through the Whyalla Steelworks, before being dispatched via InfraBuild Steel Centre to local fabricators,” said Sean.

“It’s fantastic that the hard work of local steel workers is producing this world-class steel that is making a significant contribution to a unique and world-class jetty … and it’s all happening right here in Whyalla.”

Ferretti International General Manager Dave Evans said the project is not only providing critical work for the company in Whyalla, it is also allowing the company to hire apprentices. Ferretti will fabricate and paint the steel from GFG Alliance before making the jetty frame.

“This is a fantastic project for Ferretti,” Evans said. “It is exactly the sort of work we want to undertake and it’s the reason we set up the business here in Whyalla.

“We are a new business in the community,” he explains. “To be involved in such an important community project makes it a great project for everyone.”