ENGINEERING consulting firm WSP Australia has been awarded the contact to lead the Supply Chain Integrated Design project for the new terminal at Westport

Under the $15.2 million contract, WSP will model and refine design options for the new terminal, as well as the supporting road and rail network.

Westport is an initiative of the Western Australian government. It involves investigating, planning and building a port in Kwinana, south of Fremantle.

WSP’s contribution to the project is expected to be delivered over the coming 18 months, playing a role in the development of the Westport business case and informing future investment decisions.

Ports minister Rita Saffioti said the work undertaken by WSP Australia would help the government better understand various options for both the new port and the surrounding road and rail infrastructure.

“Globally, it is rare to plan and optimise the whole supply chain, rather than focus on only building or improving part of it,” Ms Saffioti said.

“Westport’s supply-chain approach will ensure real benefits for the state in the long term and I’m proud that it is our approach.”

Ms Saffioti said the growth forecast for the container trade will likely put nearby Fremantle Port under increasing pressure, with container trade at the port expected to at least double by 2050.

Growth modelling apparently indicates that by 2070, trade volumes at Fremantle Port could be three to five times higher than what they are currently.

And, under a high-growth scenario, throughput at Fremantle Port could be as high as 3.7 million containers per annum by 2070, compared to the 792,000 containers that were moved at the port in 2021/22, according to the government.

“That’s why we’re undertaking work now to prepare and plan for a new port that will meet the needs of our state for decades to come,” Ms Saffioti said.

As part of its planning, Westport will seek opportunities to create and restore environmental assets, embed Noongar cultural values into design and support future innovation.