The Port of Newcastle has received several unsolicited bids to develop and operate a new container terminal, according to the port’s CEO Craig Carmody.
The project, which was announced at the beginning of August 2018, is planned to boost jobs and create further business opportunities in the Hunter region of Australia, which is the nation’s largest regional economy.
Carmody, discussing the bids, said: “I can confirm that the Port of Newcastle has been approached by a number of globally significant container port operators, who are eager to take advantage of our proximity to exporters and importers, the availability of large tracts of low cost land around the port and our access to dedicated freight transport infrastructure.
“It should be noted that these bids are contingent on the removal of the current artificial constraint imposed on NSW (New South Wales) port competition and other regulatory issues.”
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Carmody has invited further approaches, but indicated that bids must develop a 2 million-plus TEU container terminal on the Mayfield site within five years.
A modern integrated container port and freight handling facility, all on one site, would remove the need for the double handling of containers, as well as reducing the demand placed on congested NSW roads and co-mingled passenger rail lines.
Other proposed benefits of the new container terminal include reduced freight costs and increased efficiency.
The planned container terminal at the Port of Newcastle
Carmody also stated that the port was “likely” to see double the current number of containers moving through the NWS ports in 20 years’ time.
He added: “Evidence from Deloitte Access Economics and other studies suggests that the development of a highly automated, state-of-the-art container port in Newcastle has the capacity to help ease congestion in Sydney while boosting the competitiveness of the NSW and national economies.
“While there is much planning and consultation in front of us, it is exciting for both the port and the region that there is such interest and enthusiasm for investing in the future diversification and growth of the Newcastle and Hunter economy.”