PORT of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody recently announced that the Port had received several unsolicited bits to develop and operate a container terminal at Newcastle and issued a call for more.
“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,” he said.
“Whilst we cannot go into details yet, these bids clearly demonstrate that there is no doubt in the minds of private investors that a container terminal in the Port of Newcastle is economically viable. It’s really a matter of when, not if, we will see preparatory work commencing on the container port in Newcastle.”
Mr Carmody noted that the bids were contingent on the removal of the “current artificial constraint imposed on NSW port competition and other regulatory issues”.
“Given the speed with which we have received these bids, I invite interested parties to contact Port of Newcastle.”
Mr Carmody said bids need to be based on developing a container terminal with a 2m-plus TEU capacity on the Mayfield site within five years of the NSW government constraint being removed.
“The development of a modern integrated container port and freight handling facility all on the one site means there would be no double handling of containers before being unpacked at distant locations, far less demand placed on already congested NSW roads and co-mingled passenger rail lines and, of course, significant cost savings for consumers and exporters alike.”
DP World Australia CEO Paul Scurrah told DCN on the sidelines of the recent Ports Australia Biennial Conference in Darwin that, “but for the port commitment deed, Newcastle would be an attractive option”.