Princes Pier

Port Melbourne’s historic Princes Pier was closed to public access in the early 1990s due to the poor deck and timber condition.

Initiated by Major Projects Victoria and funded by the Victorian Government, the Princes Pier restoration project saw the replacement of the first 196 metres of the pier’s deck, as well as refurbishment of its heritage listed gatehouse.

Head Contractor Fitzgerald Constructions Australia appointed A.G. Coombs to undertake mechanical works on the gatehouse, including the installation and commissioning of new exhaust systems and specialist air conditioning units that are cooled by the surrounding sea water.

The option of a sea water condenser system provided a more sustainable system by utilising a renewable energy source, yet installation proved particularly challenging. Many components had to be carefully sourced and tailor-made to suit the very specific design requirements, with the system having to pump, treat and filter the sea water.

The pier and its gatehouse reopened to the public in December 2011.

Princes Pier is an important part of Victoria’s maritime history. As such, it was critical to appoint the industry’s experts across all facets of the restoration project to help secure the future of this historic landmark. A.G. Coombs has a strong background in complex mechanical works, with proven project outcomes. Their knowledge of, and expertise in, specialist facilities and systems played a key part in the project’s success, with particular regards to the successful delivery of the fully operational, environmentally sound sea water condenser system that will allow future commercial use of the 1935 gatehouse, and that will help to keep its history alive.

Martyn Charlton, Project Manager, Fitzgerald, Constructions Australia

Project Overview

Project Name: Princes Pier

Location: VIC

Client: Fitzgerald Constructions Australia

Project Value: $400k

Year Completed: 2012

Project Type

Mechanical works – installation and commissioning


  • Completion Successful delivery of complex mechanical works.
  • Reduced client cost and carbon footprint following the specialist installation and commissioning and resulting efficient operation of the sea water condenser system.

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