Asiano begins construction at Port Botany

Port and Rail operator announces work has begun on its $348m plan to redevelop its container terminal at Port Botany in Sydney, NSW

Asiano begins construction at Port Botany
Asiano construction begins at Port Botany

July 26, 2013

Asciano has announced work has begun on its $348 million plan to redevelop and expand its container terminal at Port Botany in Sydney, New South Wales.

In a market update yesterday,
the port and rail operator
said construction on the site, along with the manufacture of 44 new Autostrad straddle carriers in Poland has begun, following board approval of the capital investment program earlier in July.

The development will
result in
an integrated container terminal comprising both Asciano's its existing faciltiy and the adjoining 17.6 hectare site, called the Knuckle.

It will also involve the introduction of state-of-the-art terminal handling technology, additional cranes and straddles, and new upgraded employee facilities.

Competitive bids for construction at the site have been received along with final approval for its Knuckle Environmental Management Plans.

Asciano says the redevelopment and expansion project will transform its Port Botany terminal into an internationally competitive facility with four berths and 1400m of quay line.

The project will increase capacity from 1.15 million to 1.6 million TEU per annum to meet current trade growth forecasts.

Asciano Chief Executive and Managing Director John Mullen says the redevelopment is scalable to ensure capacity can be increased in line with volume growth.

The first phase of the project will expand throughput capacity 39 percent.

predicts the project will bring cost savings of $50 million per annum along with a reduction in lost time injury and administration.

"The signing of the Knuckle agreement at Port Botany ensures the flexibility to redevelop the terminal with minimal disruption to customer service levels," Mullen says.

"The redevelopment will reinforce Patrick’s position as Australia’s leading stevedore, ensuring our ongoing competitiveness by delivering improved customer service, higher levels of safety, and significantly enhanced operational efficiency and productivity.

Due for completion during 2014, the investment will will secure Patrick’s tenure at Port Botany until at least 2043.

The project includes the installation of44 automated straddle carrier (AutoStrad™) technology.

AutoStrad™ technology has been operating in the Port of Brisbane since 2005, and has delivered significant safety and efficiency improvements.

Further redevelopment of the terminal will be carried out under a staged approach as volumes grow over the next three decades.

Mullen says Asciano has the flexibility to additionally increase capacity at the terminal beyond 2014 by introducing automatic stacking cranes expanding capacity by an additional 75 percent to 2.8 million TEU per annum.

"This flexibility ensures the company can meet not only its long term business objectives but also the growth expectations for trade in NSW and beyond in a cost effective way," Mullen says.

"The redevelopment of our Port Botany container terminal together with the previously announced 9 new cranes and additional equipment at our Brisbane, Melbourne and Fremantle and Sydney container terminals will continue to drive productivity on Australian wharves towards best practice."

Construction on site will continue until late 2014 after operations on the Knuckle commence.

Meanwhile approximately 270 positions are expected to be made redundant at the end of the project in mid-2014, however Asciano says it is strongly committed to identifying redeployment opportunities for affected staff.

"We are committed to working closely with all employees impacted by the decision and will immediately commence consultation with our workforce and their representatives on the likely implications on future labour requirements and working arrangements," Mullen says.

"We will be going above and beyond to invest significantly in and support our employees throughout the transition period.

In addition to redundancy payments, the Mullen says Asciano will provide comprehensive employee assistance and support programmes including training, financial planning and career transition assistance.

"All of our employees will also have access to additional incentive payments conditional upon maintaining appropriate levels of performance," he says.

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