THE Port of Geelong will soon receive a multi-million dollar upgrade to boost import and export capacity, the Victorian Government has announced.

Joining expansion plans for the Port of Hastings and the Port of Melbourne, the Port of Geelong will have 130,000 cubic tonnes of clay removed or relocated to allow great channel access for larger ships.

“With trade and employment at the Port expected to double by 2030, it is absolutely critical that the Victorian Government invest now to provide for this growth,” Premier Denis Napthine said.

“This project will allow larger ships carrying more cargo to access the terminals at the Port of Geelong, greatly benefiting Victorian exporters and importers, particularly regional producers who depend on the Port to export grain, wheat and petroleum products.”

Plans for the expansion will be released in coming months and are expected to reflect forecasts showing no signs of easing trade activity.

“There is no doubt trade is continuing to grow, and as it grows, ships will get bigger and we need to make sure they can get in and out of the port,” chief executive of the Victorian Regional Channels Authority Captain McGovern said.

“Recently we had a ship 260 metres long enter the port – longer than the Rialto Towers are tall –which is a sign of things to come, and we need to be ready.”

A call for tenders will soon be announced to assist in the construction of the port expansion.