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News: New deck fitting requirement for capesize vessels calling at Port Hedland, Australia (as of 1 February 2021)

17 September 2020

Members with capesize vessels calling at Port Hedland, Australia are recommended to refer to the attached marine notice issued by the Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA).

Following a detailed study on the incidents involving the failure of vessels' mooring fittings used for towing operations, PPA requires all capesize vessels (nominal deadweight of 120,000 or more) to have one set of bitts and Panama lead / roller fairleads on the vessel’s aft deck at or near the centreline to be rated to a minimum of 120T safe working load (SWL).

PPA has given due consideration to the nature of the structural modifications required and possible timeframes associated with undertaking this upgrade. The requirement for capesize vessels calling the Port of Port Hedland to have a set of 120T SWL bitt and lead, will come into force as of 1 February 2021.

Apparently, PPA first notified ship operators of this requirement in September 2017. Since that time, there have been several questions from ship operators regarding the requirement for modification to deck fittings. To answer these questions a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is attached to this marine notice.