KI Council hears details of Kingscote timber port plan

THE ROUTE: Timber products would be trucked from the staging area at the waster transfer station on North Coast Road through the centre of Kingscote to the wharf area.
THE ROUTE: Timber products would be trucked from the staging area at the waster transfer station on North Coast Road through the centre of Kingscote to the wharf area.

The Kangaroo Island Council got to hear more details of the proposal to ship timber products through the town of Kingscote.

If approved, the proposal would see a fleet of a dozen trucks transporting woodchips from a staging point near the waste transfer station through Kingscote to the wharf area about six days each month, weather depending.

There would be 190 truck movements a day, 95 loads back and forth, which could mean 36 vehicles an hour at the peak times when the transshipment vessel was being loaded.

T-Ports said the truck movements would be limited to daytime and timed to not coincide with school drop-offs.

T-Ports CEO Kieran Carvill and planning consultant Michael Richardson spoke to the council at its informal gathering on Thursday, April 29.

T-Ports has entered into an agreement with Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers, harvesting company HarvestCo, whose managing director was present, and Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania.

STAGING AREA: The staging area located at the old grain hardstand at the waste transfer station on North Coast Road at the intersection of Ten Trees Road.

STAGING AREA: The staging area located at the old grain hardstand at the waste transfer station on North Coast Road at the intersection of Ten Trees Road.

LOADING POINT: The timber products would offloaded from B-double trucks into a hopper and onto a transshipment vessel to be taken out to waiting bulk carriers.

LOADING POINT: The timber products would offloaded from B-double trucks into a hopper and onto a transshipment vessel to be taken out to waiting bulk carriers.

The agreement would see the timber products stockpiled on the old grain hardstand on council administered land, adjacent to the waster transfer station on North Coast Road.

While this 25,000-tonne stockpile could include pine logs and later biomass pellets, T-Ports told the council that it anticipated material would be mostly woodchips.

Material would then be transported by B-double truck through Kingscote to the wharf area where it would be loaded onto T-Ports state-of-the-art transhipment vessel MV Lucky Eyre using a hopper.

The Lucky Eyre would then travel out to an anchored bulk carrier on Nepean Bay to transfer the woodchips.

This is contingent on the approval of the application for the extension of the Kingscote wharf, lodged by Maritime Construction, and the separate approval of the T-Ports transhipment deep water bulk vessel GPS anchor points, storage site and haulage activities.

Upgrades to existing ramp and piles at the Kingscote wharf will include a 16-metre extension to enable MV Lucky Eyre to dock. It will not affect public access to the jetty and foreshore area.

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers meanwhile in March contracted Maritime Construction ship a load of pine logs from the Kingscote wharf.

Aerial footage of the timber barge test

Mr Carvill told the council that T-Ports proposal would be quite different, for instance the B-doubles would make a turning circle around the old blue shed and turn back onto Telegraph Road.

Deputy mayor Bob Teasdale suggested T-Ports as part of the public consultation bring over a B-double and the MV Lucky Eyre transshipment vessel, so residents could see the size of the vehicles.

Mayor Michael Pengilly said he personally was supportive of the proposal saying it was the best solution to exporting timber products off the Island he had seen.

He suggested the timber products be brought to and from the staging area through the back of the waste transfer station off Ten Trees Road, eliminating any impacts on North Coast Road.

The T-Ports plan comes as investment company KI Phoenix attempts to purchase Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers.

KI Phoenix has made a $20 million conditional offer to purchase the land holdings of KIPT with plans to remediate 15,600 hectares of fire-ravaged forests back to agricultural use to benefit the Island environment and economy.

The Islander will have more follow-up on the approval process, but T-Ports is now seeking an agreement from the council to lease the staging area.

There would also be public consultation in regards to the use of the council's roads through Kingscote.

Council staff questioned whether the jetty area, including the two wharves would remain open to the public.

The planning consultant said the jetty area was a multiple-use area and attempts would be made keep the main wharf open even during transshipment activity.

There was some discussion on the long-term future of the jetty area and old blue shed, with T-Ports saying it has commenced discussions with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) and as to how to resolve the tenure issues.

This area was eventually likely to go through a remediation process, the council heard.

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