Bligh welcomes Hutchison as new port operator in Brisbane

By: Jason Whittaker

The new $530 million project to expand container terminals at the Port of Brisbane will provide thousands of Queensland businesses

The new $530 million project to expand container terminals at the Port of Brisbane will provide thousands of Queensland businesses with greater opportunities to take their products and knowledge to the world, the Government says.

Premier Anna Bligh has announced Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) had reached agreement with the State Government to lease two new container berths from the Port of Brisbane Corporation. The operator was announced as the preferred tenderer last year.

"The Port of Brisbane is Australia's fastest-growing container port and having a global player like HPH come on board is a significant achievement," Bligh says.

The Port of Brisbane Corporation, with the approval of the Queensland Government, will invest more than $530 million over five years in the new Berths 11 and 12 and associated terminals, which will increase Brisbane's container-handling facility by 25 percent and take the number of dedicated container wharves at the port to nine.

Construction has already begun, with Berth 11 expected to be operational by 2012 and Berth 12 in 2014.

Minister for Transport John Mickel says HPH is one of the world's leading port investors, developers and operators, with a total of 294 berths in 47 ports around the world.

HPH has interests in 24 countries throughout Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

"It is very pleasing to see that the Port of Brisbane Corporation is so forward-thinking in planning for and delivering port infrastructure to meet the demands of South East Queensland's continued growth," Mickel says.

In the 2006/2007 financial year, container trade through the Port of Brisbane increased by 14.2 percent, surpassing the growth of Sydney and Melbourne's ports for the fifth consecutive year.

HPH Group Managing Director John Meredith says HPH is pleased to have the opportunity to invest, develop and operate the two new berths.

"As Australia's third-busiest container port, the Port of Brisbane plays an important role in facilitating the increasing trade activities between Australia and Asia, particularly China," he says.

Port of Brisbane Corporation Chairman David Harrison says he is pleased to welcome HPH as a new stevedore at the port.

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