Our Projects

Dolphin Remediation



Rio Tinto
Sustaining Capital Projects
Dampier, Western Australia

Dampier Salt has three salt operations located at Dampier, Port Hedland and Lake MacLeod and is headquartered in Perth, Western Australia. The Dampier operation was the first DSL site established and is currently the largest producer of the three sites whilst the Port Hedland operation was acquired in 2001.

Primero was engaged by Dampier Salt to undertake a dolphin refurbishment program at their Dampier Operation.

Dampier Salt’s portside infrastructure allows 225m long ships to berth alongside the jetty that comprises of 7 dolphins. Dampier Salt required the dolphins to be upgraded to ensure their continual performance and longevity. Each dolphin comprises 10 piles to keep them firmly in position.


  • Clean, wrap and shield 4 out of 7 dolphins.
  • Design, fabricate and install 22 fenders.
  • Replace top panels of main ship fenders.
  • Remove redundant ladders from all 7 dolphins.
  • Design, fabricate and replace 4 hawser rails.
  • Design, fabricate and install 1 rope barricade.
  • Design, fabricate and fit 2 rope deflectors.

The works were performed with Primero management and construction crew over an intense 9-day shutdown window, scheduled between normal ship movements. To assist the Primero construction team, a marine vessel and diving subcontractors were engaged. Pile cleaning was performed using 11,000 PSI water blasters. Pile cleaning, wrapping and shielding were performed using divers and floating platforms or barges depending on the weather conditions. An innovative design utilised slotted handrails for each of the new Hawser rails, rope deflectors to help avoid future Hawser rail damage and fenders fitted with standard HDPE pipe as a replacement to the currently used wood.

The execution of this project was reliant on multiple challenges including wind, tides, currents and swell. Daily ‘war room’ style review meetings and maintaining a close relationship with Dampier Salt were crucial to the completion of this incident-free project.