NEW South Wales Ports chief executive Marika Calfas and Patrick Terminals CEO have turned the first sod on the Port Botany rail capacity project.

The $190m project aims to double ‘on-dock’ rail infrastructure capacity at Port Botany’s Patrick Terminals, ensuring a sustainable supply chain to meet Sydney’s future trade needs.

The project includes investment of $120m from NSW Ports to deliver ‘on-dock’ rail infrastructure and $70m from Patrick Terminals to deliver automated rail operating equipment at the container terminal.

“We’re thrilled to start construction on this important rail project, that will deliver capacity to handle one million TEU on rail at Port Botany’s Patrick Terminals – Sydney AutoStrad and improve train turn-around times by 33%,” Ms Calfas said.

“We believe that rail is fundamental to support the future growth and trade needs of New South Wales and construction of this additional on-dock rail infrastructure will further enhance efficiencies in the supply chain.”

The project is also expected to help cut the growth of truck movements on roads around the port.

“Our goal is to move  three million TEU by rail by 2045, because for every one million TEU on rail we reduce the number of trucks on the roads around the port by 900 per day,” Ms Calfas said.

Mr Jovicic said Patrick Terninals was focused on improving capacity while enhancing productivity and efficiency.

“Patrick Terminals – Sydney AutoStrad currently handles a large volume of rail-based containers and is focused on growing and optimising our rail offering,” Mr Jovicic said.

“The introduction of automated rail operating equipment coupled with the “on-dock”infrastructure will increase our terminal’s rail capacity whilst ensuring we maintain a safe and reliable operation.”

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The project will take place in staged developments to allow existing rail operations at the terminal to continue throughout the construction period.

Once fully operational in 2023, the project is expected to:

• Increase rail capacity of the Patrick Terminals – Sydney AutoStrad from 250,000 to one million TEU

• Deliver 33% faster turnaround times

• Deliver more rail windows for cargo owners including regional trains for NSW

• Reduce the truck kilometres travelled in Sydney by at least 10 million per year

• Save over two million litres of diesel per year – the equivalent of a net reduction of more than 5,400 in CO2 emissions tonnes per year

• Increase the number of daily train windows at the Patrick Terminal from eight to 12 with the ability to progressively increase to 24 daily windows when more Automated Rail Mounted Gantries are installed

• Provide the capacity to double the number of daily trains to Port Botany from 16 to 32

• Double annual Port Botany portside total rail capacity from 750,000 TEU to 1.5m TEU.

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