Australia's Newcastle box port hopes dashed by central planners
AUSTRALIA's Port of Newcastle is angry that the New South Wales central planners have confined its role to that of a coal bulk port when it had ambitions to be a container gateway
23 July 2019 - 19:00
Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said DP World Australia. 'walked away because the port's commitment deed made it economically unviable', reported New York's FreightWaves.
In 2012, the NSW government decided to bundle Sydney's Port Botany and car port Kembla in a 50-year lease, raising AUD5.07 billion (US$3.53 billion) with Kembla as a secondary container terminal if need arose.
But Newcastle wanted to build a fully automated port, with 11 quay cranes, and deep water to handle 13,500 TEUers, which would be the only terminal of that size in Australia with a potential annual capacity of two million TEU.
As it stands, container volumes through Newcastle are 10,000 TEU a year.
Irksome to Newcastle was that the NSW central planners had deliberately thwarted any lingering container ambitions Newcastle might have because its competitive role would undermine the value of the main container action at Port Botany.
This fulfills NSW commitment to its existing strategic railfreight priorities, maximising rail to 28 per cent out of Botany by the end of next year.
During the privatisation of Botany and Kembla, the ruling Liberal-National NSW government said a container terminal at Newcastle would hurt Port Botany, leading bidders to demand and to receive reassurance that a box terminal would not be developed at Newcastle.
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