More cash for Qube's Moorebank intermodal terminal

Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest up to $150 million

More cash for Qube's Moorebank intermodal terminal
Moorebank is gaining ‘green bank’ financial support


Australian transport and logistics can access attractive federal government finance, if an initiative is large and ‘green’ enough and proponents are prepared to wait.

This is Qube’s experience and the source is the country’s so called ‘green bank’, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The project is Qube’s Moorebank intermodal facility and the commitment of up to $150 million marks the CEFC’s "first investment in clean energy transport infrastructure".

"The seven-year bilateral debt facility will assist in providing medium-term finance for he staged construction of the Moorebank Logisics Park," the company says.

"The facility further diversifies Qube’s funding sources and also lengthens the group’s debt maturity profile."

Justifying its involvement, the commercially focused CEFC says the project is expected to reduce freight truck emissions by more than 110,000 tCO₂e a year, by switching containerised freight transport from road to rail, and also incorporate large-scale renewable energy sources.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said the CEFC investment highlighted the economy-wide benefits of clean energy solutions.

"Emissions from road freight transport are a substantial part of our carbon emissions challenge," Learmonth adds.

"By switching to rail solutions, the Moorebank project will reduce emissions, reduce urban congestion and improve national freight connectivity for years to come.

"This project and others like it are essential for us to progress down a decarbonisation pathway to net zero emissions by the second half of the century while improving the sustainability of our cities."

With full capacity expected in 2030, the Moorebank project will switch the movement of 1.55 million containers at Port Botany.

The switch to rail transport, when operating at scale, is to cut an estimated 3,000 truck journeys a day from Sydney's road network, particularly the M5.

It also aims to reduce the number of regular Sydney-Brisbane and Sydney-Melbourne truck freight trips.

The CEFC says that by 2030, the new intermodal facility at Moorebank Logistics Park is expected to:

Reduce the distance travelled by container trucks on Sydney's road network by 150,000 kilometres every day (56 million kilometres per annum, saving 73,000 tCO₂e of emissions)

Reduce the distance travelled by long distance interstate freight trucks by 93,000 kilometres every day (34 million kilometres per annum, saving 41,000 tCO₂e emissions)

Deliver net annual carbon emissions savings equivalent to removing 11,000 vehicles from the road for a full year or burning 25,000 tonnes of coal

Generate 65,000 MWh/year from renewable energy sources installed on site, capable of powering over 10,000 homes.

"Despite its massive scale – operating across a site the size of Sydney's CBD – the freight and energy efficiencies delivered via the Moorebank Logistics Park are expected to result in net emission reductions totalling more than 2 million tonnes of CO2-e over a 40-year period, the ‘green bank’ adds.

"This net reduction takes into account construction emissions, embodied energy within building materials, offsite transportation, operational emissions and savings from the onsite use of renewable energy.  It does not factor in inevitable advances in technology over that 40-year period.

Qube MD Maurice James said the Moorebank Logistics Park would transform the containerised freight supply chain in Sydney and deliver significant community-wide benefits.

"Our focus at Qube has always been on how we can improve the efficiency of the import and export supply chain, how we can provide a faster and more cost-effective way to get goods to consumers and the Moorebank terminal is certainly a key part of that strategy," James says.

"We are extremely proud to be the first transport infrastructure project which the CEFC has chosen to support in this way.

"Being able to deliver a faster and more reliable supply chain that creates savings for our customers, as well as remove thousands of truck trips from our roads at the same time as delivering very significant environmental benefits is a great trifecta."  

Learmonth insists working with Qube will help the outcome to be commensurate with its task.

"Through this investment, the CEFC will work with Qube to help influence project engineering, construction and design decisions to tackle some of Australia's toughest energy challenges, including ambitious energy efficiency and reduced transport emissions.

"We're aiming for the Moorebank Logistics Park to be built to a standard Australia hasn't seen before, so that it reaps the benefits of built-in efficient technologies throughout its useful life and demonstrates what is possible for the next generation in low emissions transport and freight facilities."  

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