DP World Australia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state-owned Tasmanian Ports Corporation, Tasports, to jointly develop a $20m international container terminal at the Port of Burnie in North West Tasmania.
The move follows the launch of 30 Year Port Plan by Tasports, identifying Burnie as the state’s future largest natural gateway for container freight into and out of the state.
Under the terms of the deal, DP World Australia will invest in providing a new ship-to-shore crane while restoring the existing ship-to-shore crane at the new terminal that will handle the equivalent of 200,000TEU annually.
Additionally, the company will integrate the yard with the existing rail terminal and develop the container yard for general and refrigerated containers besides providing yard container handling equipment.
The new facility is expected to be launched in January 2017 subject to the enactment of the Coastal Shipping Act 2015.
DP World Australia chief corporate development officer Brian Gillespie said: “As a coastal sea port with supporting infrastructure, we believe Burnie is the best option for a new facility to be able to cater for large ships in the decades ahead.
“Due to the foresight of Tasports, TasRail and Toll, Burnie is also directly connected to an intermodal rail facility which will allow containerised freight to be railed safely and efficiently to Launceston and Hobart.
“Tasports will work with DP World Australia to investigate the supporting port infrastructure requirements including channels, berth capacity and enhancements to navigational aids and technology.”
The Coastal Shipping Act 2015 resolution, which will allow container vessels operated by international shipping lines to carry domestic containerised freight between Australian ports, is expected this week.