Yamba Welding & Engineering launched a $1.2million landing barge last week, which the company has built for the Ok Tedi Development Foundation in Papua New Guinea.
The foundation manages community development benefits from Ok Tedi mine operations on behalf of the 100,000 river residents living in 156 villages throughout PNG’s Western Province.
The PNG Government took ownership (87.8 per cent) of the mine in 2013; the remaining shares are owned by the people of the Western Province.
The mine’s website says “the mine is also involved directly in PNG’s development through infrastructure projects such as health centres, school classrooms, houses, roads, airstrips, jetties, water supply and communication systems”.
Yamba Welding & Engineering proprietor, Bill Collingburn, said the “vessel will ply the Fly River, with a live-aboard crew who will maintain all of the navigation leads along the length of the river”.
The barge’s journey, from the engineering workshop opposite Yamba Public School to the northern side of Yamba Marina, required cooperation from both Essential Energy and Telstra.
“They had to cut the power off and lift lines over the boat,” Mr Collingburn said, “and Telstra had to drop their wires; it was a bit of an effort.”
Mr Collingburn said the barge was powered by two Caterpillar engines, has two stand alone generators and the latest navigation equipment.
He said the fully air conditioned vessel featured a “bow door where they can run vehicles and cargo on and off and is equipped with a one tonne crane”.
He said the new owners would take delivery of the barge in a month’s time.
“There will be a whole heap of people from Papua New Guinea here, from the different regions,” he said.
“And there will be another boat to go in, too, in a month’s time, so they’ll bless the boats here.”