Govt backflip includes duopoly in tender for Botany berths

By: Jason Whittaker


Stevedoring duopoly Patrick and DP World will be allowed to tender for new berthing space at Port Botany, with the

Stevedoring duopoly Patrick and DP World will be allowed to tender for new berthing space at Port Botany, with the State Government backing down from threats to exclude the incumbent operators.

Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi had previously declared, as first reported by ATN, that he wanted a third operator at the port to increase competition.

But in announcing the opening of the international tender process, the Minister has signalled a duopoly arrangement could remain on the waterfront in Sydney.

The Minister tells ATN that Sydney Ports Corporation pushed for the existing players to be included.

"In the interest of competition, Sydney Ports felt it would be best to open the EOI process to all stevedores," the Minister says in a one-sentence statement.

Sydney Ports is not commenting on the decision.

Construction begins later this year on the $1 billion project to add new berthing space to the port by 2012.

Tripodi says the opportunity to operate the new terminal has already generated "significant international interest".

"I anticipate the field will be strong and extremely competitive," he says in a press release announcing the start of tendering.

The new operator is expected to be announced next year, with fit-out to begin in 2011.

Applicants will have to demonstrate their expertise in the areas of financial and resource capability, container terminal experience and ability to resource and manage the new terminal as part of a two-step bidding process.

Patrick, now owned by Toll offshoot Asciano, and DP World, which bought the assets of P&0 terminals, will face stiff competition from stevedores with global experience.

Hutchinson Port Holdings has already secured the third stevedore position at the Port of Brisbane and is expected to bid strongly for the Sydney space to create a network in Australia.

There are also suggestions ex-Patrick boss Chris Corrigan could mount a bid with his investment vehicle backed by private equity group Kaplan Funds Management.

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