International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is in the running for the right to operate a new container terminal at the Port of Melbourne, touted as the “jewel in the crown of Australian ports”.
Australian International Container Terminals Ltd (AICTL), a consortium comprising ICTSI and Australian peer Anglo Ports Pty Ltd, is one of four groups shortlisted to vie for the third new container terminal, the centerpiece of Victoria state’s A$1.6 billion (US$1.645 billion) Port Capacity Project.
The three other bidders are Hutchison Ports Holdings, a subsidiary of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.; a consortium of French shipping giant CMA CGM S.A., its Australian subsidiary ANL Container Line Pty Ltd and Macquarie Specialised Asset Management Ltd.; and Qube Holdings Ltd., a diversified Australian logistics and infrastructure company.
“The $1.6 billion Port Capacity Project is a critical infrastructure project that will drive competition and fundamentally enhance Victoria’s future economic growth,” Australian Minister for Ports David Hodgett, as he welcomed the news about the short-listing of the bidders.
Stephen Bradford, CEO of Port of Melbourne Corp., confirmed on May 1 the identities of the shortlisted bidders which will next go through the Request for Proposals phase.
“This is the jewel in the crown of Australian ports and the responses received during the expressions of interest phase confirm the strategic significance of operating a terminal at Australia’s premier port,” Bradford said.
Located at Melbourne’s Webb Dock East, the Third International Container Terminal is offered as a package that comprises around 30 hectares of waterfront terminal, a utility off-dock area and an adjoining empty container facility.
The new hub is mandated to provide a capacity of at least one million containers a year.
Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Ports is expected to be the leading contender.
“In evaluating the bids, we are seeking innovation to deliver higher levels of operational efficiency alongside the requirements to operate a growing port in the middle of one of the nation’s largest cities,” Bradford said.
The project is funded by the Port of Melbourne Corp. which provides the “backbone”
infrastructure while the private sector operators will fund the terminal superstructure and fit-outs.
The corporation’s investment in developing these new assets will be recovered through fees and
charges normally applied to users of the port.
Works undertaken by the corporation within the Webb Dock precinct include construction
of new roads connecting the terminal directly to Melbourne’s freeway network as well as extending and upgrading the berths.
Image courtesy of http://portcapacity.portofmelbourne.com/pages/image-gallery.asp