To assist with the rebuild of the Lucinda Bulk Sugar Terminal (LBST) in Queensland, Australia, engineering, project delivery and advisory services provider Aurecon supplied a full suite of services to Queensland Sugar Limited (QSL).

In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Yasi, the facility suffered almost A$50 million in damage to structural, mechanical, hydraulic and electrical systems along the jetty, conveyor system, wharf and ship loader.

The LBST, recognized as one of the world's most efficient bulk sugar loading facilities, has served the sugar industry of the Herbert River region for over 50 years.

Damian Ziebarth, general manager of operations at QSL, said:“Aurecon and QSL have a solid partnership that stretches back decades. At our time of need immediately following cyclone Yasi, Aurecon was there to help.”

Aurecon services included damage inspection and causation advice, early advice on repair feasibility, multi- disciplinary detailed design and documentation, contract packaging and expediting, construction supervision and superintendency, and commissioning assistance.

Aurecon’s history with the terminal dates back to the 1950s, when the company, (then Macdonald Wagner and Priddle) planned and designed the first stages of Queensland’s bulk sugar terminals.

Queensland is a leader in the bulk handling of raw sugar with some of the largest, most advanced bulk storage and handling facilities in the world.

Of the six terminals, located at Cairns, Mourilyan, Lucinda, Townsville, Mackay and Bundaberg, Aurecon has been instrumental in the planning and design of all six to receive, store and out-load raw sugar to domestic and export markets. Aurecon has also designed the majority of expansion stages and modifications to those terminals over the decades since their original construction.

As part of the LBST’s Stage 3 development,Aurecon provided studies and planning, as well as design and development of construction techniques and construction supervision. Completed in 1979, the LBST Stage 3 project involved provision of a third 79,000-tonne capacity storage shed, and an offshore berth, located 5.76km seaward of Lucinda Point in natural deep water, capable of accommodating fully loaded Panamax sized bulk sugar ships for overseas export of raw sugar from the Herbert River District.

With its length actually following the curved contour of the earth by dipping two metres from the initial horizon over its length the 5.76 kilometre jetty has been called an engineering masterpiece.

A single conveyor belt runs the entire length of the jetty and back, enabling sugar to travel along the conveyor from the on-shore storage to the shiploader in 22 minutes. The conveyor belt can carry almost 600 tonnes of sugar at any one time. Vessels can load cargoes of up to 25,000 tonnes of raw sugar in less than a day. The berth is capable of accepting vessels with a total carrying capacity of up to 70,000 tonnes.

Following the official reopening ceremony on 1 November 2012,project director,Arne Nilsen said:“It was very rewarding to be part of this project to repair a facility that has an important place in Aurecon’s port and materials handling history and in Queensland’s sugar industry today.”