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​BHP Billiton has approved US$301 million in execution capital (BHP Billiton share) to replace two shiploaders at our Nelson Point port operations in Port Hedland.

The two new shiploaders will increase the reliability of our inner harbour port facilities.  Each shiploader has a loading capacity of 12,500 tonnes per hour.  Existing shiploaders SL1 and SL2, which are more than 40 years old, currently load iron ore at a rate of approximately 10,000 tonnes per hour. 

This investment will also create additional port capacity that can be utilised as a series of debottlenecking initiatives increase the capacity of our Western Australia Iron Ore supply chain towards 270 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent basis), at a low capital cost.  Commissioning of the two replacement shiploaders is scheduled for the second half of the 2014 calendar year.

BHP Billiton Iron Ore President, Jimmy Wilson, said: “This is an important investment that is consistent with our commitment to maximise the capacity of the Western Australia Iron Ore inner harbour and deliver substantial value to shareholders and other stakeholders”.

For more information, please see the News Release.

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