By the middle of 2019, the world’s largest travel lift, with a capacity of 1,120 tonnes, is set to be operating at BSE Maritime Solutions' Cairns Slipway in Queensland, Australia. The new A$6m hoist, bought from Italian firm Cimolai Technology SpA, is being paid for out of the Australian government’s A$24m financial support awarded to three shipyards in Cairns to upgrade their infrastructure.

BSE Maritime Solutions, plus Norship Marine and Tropical Reef Shipyard, each received A$8m under this pre-election promise made by the current government. All three yards are active in repairing, refitting and maintaining yachts, commercial vessels, and naval/border force vessels.

BSE will commission its existing 60m (197ft) dry dock and its quay upgraded to accommodate the new hoist. The hoist will measure 30m (L) x 23m (W) x 23m (H) and will run on 32 wheels.

Commenting on the new lift, BSE owner Justin Parer said: “The Italian-made machine, once ready in mid-2019, would provide extra infrastructure assistance to support the ongoing expansion of the HMAS Cairns naval base. It would also allow the region to vie for lucrative superyacht maintenance contracts.”

He added: “This is world’s best – this will make us a hub. The superyachts that everyone talks about will come because of this, because we can get them out of the water. When they look at where they can go, there is nothing else in this part of the world even close to that capability.”

This is possibly a slight overstatement, as Rivergate Marina & Shipyard in Brisbane is able to accommodate yachts up to 90m (296ft) and the Yard facility in Brisbane is also currently upgrading to a 1,000-1,200 tonne travel lift as well.

The other two shipyards have not yet made clear how they will invest their A$8m, but it is understood that there will be new quayage developed of around 170m (558ft), plus investment in new workshops, hardstand areas, new shipyard systems and a 135m (443ft) extension to a slipway marine rail facility.