River barging demands skills unlike any other form of water transport. Over the past five decades we have operated in some of the most challenging situations to deliver barge services to customers across the world. Our expert barge hands are much in demand from Papua New Guinea to Paraguay.
In 2009, we expanded our operations in South America with the acquisition of 70% of the shares of the Dos Santos Group Bulk Barging business in Paraguay, providing bulk barges to transport grain and iron ore on the Paraguay-Paraná waterway. In addition, long-term contracts with Siderar, the Argentinian steel company, and Noble Grain, contribute to the economic development of the region.
With a fleet of 60 bulk barges and five convoy vessels, our South American operational offices are located in Asuncion, Paraguay, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Our river barging services have played a pivotal support role in Papua New Guinea’s mining industry for decades. Our first challenge was to establish a reliable service to move copper concentrate 1,308 km down the Fly River for export. It remains the backbone of a river navigation system that includes a fuel and cargo supply chain and navigation aids maintenance.
Our other major activity in Papua New Guinea is the operation of a fleet of four barges to transport mine overburden for the Lihir gold mines. Our services include barge management, technical support and crewing.
Elsewhere in the region, we manage and operate the self-discharging bulk carrier MV Wunma that carries zinc/lead concentrate from the Port of Karumba in north Queensland in Australia.
We own 50% of Carpentaria Shipping Services, a joint venture company with Indigenous Business Australia and the Mawa Riinbi the traditional land owning community. Carpentaria Shipping Services provides a zinc concentrate transhipment services for Glencore Xstrata’s McArthur River Mine operations in Bing Bong in the Northern Territory of Australia.
P&O Maritimes’ River Barging is focused on the provision of tailored and dedicated shipping solutions to resource industries. Dedicated bulk cargo services’ operations are typically in remote areas and involve transhipment of bulk cargo to point of export.