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Australia's Port Kembla to get $1.2bn transformation

Australia's Port Kembla to get $1.2bn transformation

Sydney: Port Kembla Port Corporation Chairman, Nick Whitlam (son of 1970s Prime Minister Gough Whitlam) has foreshadowed the transformation of the south-of-Sydney facility at a cost of about $1.2bn to alleviate bottlenecks in the State's other ports.
Once completed, it will end the current hold on Sydney port handling by Patrick Stevedores and Dubai Ports (formally P&O Ports). Recently released Government estimates put the cost of what is termed the Port Kembla Outer Harbour Master Plan (PKOHM) expansion at $600m with a further $600m expected from private sources to be spent on infrastructure. Three of the world's major shipping operators, Hutchison Port Holdings (which recently signed an agreement to lease two new container berths from the Port of Brisbane) Maersk and Costgo are reported as indicating they may lease container terminals at Port Kembla.

Port Kembla is one of a trio of international facilities centred on exports and imports in New South Wales. Its expansion plans follow the $2bn recently spent upgrading Queensland's Dalrymple Bay and Gladstone ports whose activities centre on coking coal.

PKOHM's immediate targets include dredging 50hectares of Port Kembla, building a container terminal to handle up to 3m teu per annum and completing a part-abandoned rail line to boost the transortation of the port's coal capacity. The Corporation Chairman's other target is reportedly to extend Port Kembla's current focus on bulk commodities, coal and steel servicing to embrace the recently removed  car-import facility from Sydney. This would see it handling all car imports into the State of New South Wales.  [15/12/08]