The Pilbara Ports Authority has achieved another record-breaking year, with a total annual throughput of 724.7mt.

This strong year-on-year performance follows the PPA exceeding 700mt for the first time last financial year, and represents an increase of 14% over the past five years.

The PPA is the world’s largest bulk export port authority, encompassing the ports of Ashburton, Dampier and Port Hedland.

Roger Johnston.

PPA CEO Roger Johnston said the organisation’s strong performance was a result of improved port efficiencies, which has helped to meet the strong demand for iron ore exports.

“The investment to increase the Port of Port Hedland’s capacity is paying off, with the enhancements resulting in an expanded shipping window to enable more vessels to sail on high tide per year, as well as increasing the amount of product that can be safely loaded onto vessels,” he said.

“Pilbara Ports Authority has contributed to WA’s enviable economic position, with the value of commodities passing through our ports in 2020-21 estimated to be in excess of $155 billion – this is a 29% increase compared to the previous year.

“This is a testament to the ports continuing to operate at full capacity throughout COVID-19, with Pilbara Ports Authority navigating border closures and strict maritime regulations to deliver safe and reliable operations for the benefit of the resources sector and the State of WA.”

Mr Johnston believes that iron ore prices will stay above $US200/t for another year and a half, with the world’s second largest producer Brazil continuing to underperform.

He predicted strong demand to persist for more than 12 months amid ongoing supply constraints for Brazilian metals giant Vale.