TasPorts has welcomed one of the world’s largest dedicated woodchip bulkers, China Express, to the Port of Bell Bay. Launched in early 2020, the 215 metre vessel is the first of its kind to call to Tasmania and has a total cargo capacity of 60,000 tonnes. 

The maiden visit signifies confidence in the forestry export sector and the criticality of the Port of Bell Bay in the supply chain, enabling the export of large volumes of Tasmanian product direct to international markets.

TasPorts Chief Executive Officer Anthony Donald said that the arrival of China Express also shines a spotlight on the strength of collaboration within the forestry sector and a focus by TasPorts on supporting and enabling customer-driven logistics solutions.

“In August 2020, TasPorts and Midway Limited, a leading Australian processor and exporter of wood fibre products, entered into a partnership to enable additional exports of wood fibre from the Port of Bell Bay, to new and emerging markets. The arrival of China Express is this partnership in action,” Mr Donald said.

The partnership also enables Midway to establish its own wood fibre processing and export facility at Bell Bay, with exports from the facility expected to commence in 2021.

“Midway has a long history of new start up projects, offering an open access export service for other Tasmanian forest owners providing the opportunity to co-mingle woodchip and biomass products for export,” Mr Donald said.

“TasPorts and Midway are pleased to be working together to facilitate a fit-for-purpose logistics solution.”

China Express is scheduled to depart on Sunday, October 4 fully laden with 58,000 tonnes of plantation woodchips.

China Express departed China on 12 September 2020 and has followed required COVID-19 precautionary measures prior to arriving at the Port of Bell Bay.

Pictured: TasPorts General Manager Logistics Nigel Foss and Midway Limited Managing Director & CEO Tony Price, at the Port of Bell Bay