IT WILL be sometime before container port equipment starts making a regular appearance at Port Kembla, New South Wales Ports’ chief executive Marika Calfas believes.
In response to a question at the recent Ports 2017 conference, Ms Calfas told delegates there would be two key influencing factors on whether to develop a container terminal in the Illawarra.
“Our timing for Port Kembla is probably two-fold – there is not a definitive date,” she told the gathering.
“It will be linked to one of two things. Either Port Botany reaches its ability to handle container volumes and at the moment it is handling 2.4m teu and has got a fair bit of capacity to go.
“Alternatively, if there’s an operator who’s interested establishing a new terminal, then we could bring forward that development if the opportunity arises.”
Ms Calfas said volume growth would be a defining factor.
“It is very much dependent upon volume growth,” she said.
“When we’ve done volume projections for a 30-year master plan, we are seeing the need for that terminal is at the back end of that 30-year period so it is still some way away, but it is very much dependent upon volume forecasts.”
Ms Kalfas also took a question about the Enfield / Cook River Terminals and how they would relate to containers at Port Kembla.
“What is your organisation’s biggest challenge working with government?” one delegate asked.
“From a working with government perspective, I think the biggest challenge for Port Kembla is to secure the road and rail infrastructure connections to Port Kembla for the longer term,” Ms Calfas responded.
“Port Kembla from a road perspective, the key access back into Sydney… we need the motorway connection but also the widening of Mt Ousley or some other form of road connection that connects back up to Sydney.”
She also noted rail challenges.
“From a rail perspective, the biggest challenge is the constraint on the Illawarra line with passenger trains and the need to then connect back out to Western Sydney as well via the potential, future Dombarton-Maldon rail link.
“So they are the key challenges.”
Ms Calfas noted the need to ensure industrial land holdings around the port remained industrial.
“There is increasing pressure around the edges for redevelopment of sites.
“One that is occurring at the moment is the redevelopment of what was a school which is right on the boundary of the current industrial zones and the suggestion that should be redeveloped for housing.
“They are some of those increasing pressures we need to make sure we deal with. Because, also those residential developments are happening along the freight rail routes as well.”
From the print edition August 31, 2017