Have you noticed something missing off the Illawarra coastline this morning?
A temporary landmark opposite the Port Kembla Coal Loader was only a dot on the horizon at sunrise.
The Oceanlinx wave energy generator originally built as a prototype last decade was towed out to sea before dawn. Workers starting the final stage of the move at 3am.
Roads and Maritime Services executive director Maritime Angus Mitchell said after several weeks work preparing for the final move the remaining section of the Oceanlinx structure was moved early this morning and is being disposed of in deep water to minimise impact on the environment and marine life.
Mr Mitchell said the first stage of the removal was completed last October with the top of the structure removed by a 600 tonne crane on top of a barge before being transported to Newcastle for recycling.
“The second stage of removal, which involved restoring the buoyancy of the tanks to float the remaining structure, is now complete,” Mr Mitchell said.
“The final stage of removal is now under way and involves floating the structure before towing it about 50 nautical miles out to deep sea and scuttling it to minimise environmental impact and risks to safety.
“The structure was established to be free of any environmental hazardous material and permits required to dispose it out to sea have been obtained from the Australian Government.”
Mr Mitchell said a number of salvage and disposal options were investigated for the removal of the Oceanlinx structure.
“The removal method chosen, to float and dispose of the structure at sea, was identified as the most effective option in terms of overall impact on the environment, technical and economic feasibility and safety,” Mr Mitchell said.
“The final removal has been reliant on good weather and sea conditions, which have not been favourable.”
“Fortunately, contractors Polaris Marine have been able to refloat the structure and...the people who frequent this part of the Port Kembla finally have their coastline back.”