The Great Barrier Reef remediation project is moving forward

Shen Neng Earth 1


Authority for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

26.02.2020 04:20:00

Following one of the worst shipwrecks in the worldSThe Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is now entering the next phase of the Douglas Shoal remediation project and plans to begin a procurement process this year to hire a remediation contractor.

Douglas Shoal is located 90 kilometers off the north-east coast of Australia, near Gladstone Harbor. Douglas Shoal remediation project will address contamination with antifouling paint and extensive, unconsolidated debris caused by grounding of fully loaded bulk coal carrier Shen Neng 1 in 2010.

With a footprint of over 40 hectares, this is the largest known scarring of the ship in the Great Barrier Reef marine park listed in the World Heritage List and probably in the world. The main objective of the AUD 35 million project is to support the bank’s natural recovery.

A site assessment conducted in 2019 provided more information on site conditions and refined priority areas for remediation. Ten years after the ground incident, contamination and debris continue to impede natural recovery. A recently completed options analysis identified and evaluated a number of remedial methods, taking into account the objectives of the project.

Priority remediation areas have been refined to about 10 hectares in total. These areas have variable characteristics, such as channels, flat stretches, small collars and holes, which are affected by debris or contamination. The analysis of options indicated that debris removal and contamination is probably the most appropriate remediation option, although the project remains open to consider non-disposal methods.

The project is looking for innovative technology to meet the highest environmental standards, given the sensitive location in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Additional information, including project updates, opportunities and technical reports are available on the project website here.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Maritime Executive.