The Port of Melbourne Corporation is seeking a third operator for a A$1bn ($916m) expansion project at the port.

The state government and port authorities have been under pressure from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to introduce market entrants alongside port upgrades, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The Maritime Union Of Australia is, however, seeking a delay in the decision applying to Melbourne, arguing that a third stevedoring company in the Port of Melbourne would worsen the pressures on the stevedoring market.

The port operator expects to make its redevelopment proposal to the state government before the end of the year.

The Port of Melbourne handles nearly 37% of Australia’s container business.