Kwinana Bulk Terminal gets a 40-metre high dome

If you have been down Kwinana way recently, you might have noticed a new white dome at Kwinana’s Bulk Terminal in the Outer Harbour area. It’s a first for Western Australia.

Last Wednesday, 13 March, Fremantle Ports – which controls what happens not only in and around Fremantle’s Inner Harbour, but also in and around the Outer Harbour at Kwinana – inflated the 40-metre-high dome. It took 24 hours to inflate.

The giant dome is the second of its type in Australia.

What’s it for? we hear you ask. Well, the dome will store cement clinker and is integral to Fremantle Port’s new import circuit facility which will streamline the importation of clinker – the principal element in the manufacture of cement.


The dome was built using cutting edge technology. As explained to us by Fremantle Ports, this was achieved by ‘firstly constructing a concrete ring beam, then inflating an air form membrane and spraying a layer of foam before finally installing steel reinforcing and applying shotcreting (concrete projected at high velocity) to the inside of the membrane’.

The storage dome is connected to a conveyor network which links directly to the nearby Cockburn Cement Ltd plant. The dome is an alternative storage solution to a conventional dry product shed and has a smaller ground footprint but holds the same amount as a conventional shed thereby freeing up precious space.

The new dome can hold an entire shipment of clinker – around 40,000 tonnes – with the project replacing existing aged cargo-handling assets with new facilities capable of handling future trade growth. The dome will provide customers with faster cargo-handling and quicker turnaround times. The project supports the construction industry in Western Australia and is part of the long-term plan for the Port of Fremantle.

Fremantle Ports CEO Michael Parker emphasised that: ‘Without clinker, industry stops and every tonne of the commodity entering Western Australia comes through the Kwinana Bulk Terminal. More than 1.1 million tonnes of clinker are imported each year through the Kwinana Bulk Terminal, destined for domestic, commercial and industrial construction projects throughout the State. Around half comes from Indonesia, with the remainder from Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and the United Arab Emirates.

A classic case of proving the old adage, we suppose, that ‘Trade makes the world go round’!

STORY by Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey. Jean is our Shipping Correspondent and also a regular feature writer and photographer here on the Shipping News. You may like to follow up her informative Places I Love stories, as well as other feature stories and Freo Today photographs, right here.


* If you’d like to COMMENT on this or any of our stories, don’t hesitate to email our Editor.


*** And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to receive your free copy of The Weekly Edition of the Shipping News each Friday!