The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) says it expects to have a new shipping navigation system operating in the Torres Strait by the end of the year.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) says it expects to have a new shipping navigation system operating in the Torres Strait by the end of the year. In 2008, a review recommended a single under-keel clearance management system be introduced in the Torres Strait to help large ships gauge sea depths and navigate through the area.
At the moment there is a maximum draught depth of 12.2 metres for ships using the area.
Shipping Australia says the new system could lead to significant economic benefits for Australia's export industries, including coal and grain.
Spokesman Llew Russell says the current limit means many ships crossing the Strait can't load to full capacity.
"You'll be able to utilise much more shipping space than you can at the moment, thereby increasing your export volume for example through the Strait than we can at the present times," he said.
"So there is direct economic benefit to Australia's exporters and importers."
The AMSA put the system out for public tender last year and has chosen OMC International as the preferred supplier.
It says it is the first time an under-keel clearance management system is being introduced in a complex coastal environment in Australia.