Australia: Sydney Ports on Right Track

Sydney Ports on Right Track

Sydney Ports Corporation has achieved eleven consecutive years of annual container trade growth through Port Botany – the just released 2011/12 Annual Report confirming container volumes are up by 1 per cent to 2.036 million TEUs.

Sydney Ports Chief Executive Officer Grant Gilfillan said the volume of container trade coming through the port of Botany has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of around 7.4 per cent since the mid 90’s.

Our ports now handle more than $60-billion of trade every year, contribute $2.5 billion to the NSW economy and generate 17,000 jobs – and the path to continued growth is assured when the $1 billion Port Botany Expansion comes on line after being tenanted by Hutchison Port Holdings, the third terminal operator.

“On the back of record container throughput, Sydney Ports has achieved a strong financial result with total revenue increasing by 8 percent to $276.5 million for the 2011/12 financial year.

“However, the cost of servicing the debt associated with Sydney Ports’ major capital expenditure programme contributed to a 28.6% decrease in Net Profit After Tax to $52.4 million,” Mr Gilfillan said.

The Annual Report shows that:

• Total full container imports were up 1.7 percent to 1.02 million TEUs.

• Total full container exports were down 0.8 percent to 0.46 million TEUs.

• Total trade increased by 3.1% to 30.7 million mass tonnes.

• Sydney Ports invested $151.2 million in new capital projects, which contributed to an increase in total non-current assets of 10.2 per cent to $2.0 billion.

• Cruise ship visits to Sydney grew by around 30 per cent in each of the last two years.

• Truck Turnaround Times improved by 30 per cent after one year of operation of the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy.

Mr Gilfillan said Sydney Ports achieved significant milestones in port infrastructure projects during 2011/12.

“In August last year, Hutchison Port Holdings took possession of 45 hectares of the expanded Port Botany terminal area.

“This enabled them to plan for site works due to begin late 2012. The new terminal was officially named Hayes Dock, in memory of the late John Hayes who was instrumental in the establishment of container terminals at Port Botany.

“Construction of Port Botany’s second Bulk Liquids Berth is now well advanced and substantial progress was made on the Penrhyn Road Grade Separation Works to improve road access within the Port.

“The Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy continues to demonstrate high value through improved road and rail transport efficiencies and the Truck Marshalling Area, opened in June this year, will drive further efficiencies.

“Ongoing work on the Intermodal Logistics Centre at Enfield and expansion of the Cooks River Rail Depot and Empty Container Park by the major tenant will increase container rail transport volumes”, Mr Gilfillan said.

“Work to secure Glebe Island and White Bay for future port use is progressing and the new cruise passenger terminal at White Bay 5 is on track for completion early next year.”

Mr Gilfillan said the new Vessel Traffic Service system was successfully commissioned, following last year’s relocation from the Barangaroo Harbour Control Tower to the Sydney Ports Operations Centre at Port Botany.

“We are also on track to receive three new pilot vessels – one has just been delivered to Sydney while the others are still under construction in the United Kingdom and these are the first new pilot vessels in 23 years.”

Mr Gilfillan said a significant achievement during the financial year was agreement with the Government for a more realistic level of cruise pricing to ensure sustainable funding of cruise infrastructure development.

We had agreed to freeze berthing fees in 1992 and reduced them in 1996 when the cruise industry asked for financial incentives to help them grow Sydney as a destination.

“Now, with booming cruise arrivals in Sydney, we need the revenue to finance the development of new facilities to meet that demand.

“Sydney remains Australia’s passenger cruise capital, with remarkable growth in the number of visits – a record 199 in 2011/12 and up again by 30 percent to 264 for the 2012/13 season,” Mr Gilfillan said.

[mappress]

Press Release, November 23, 2012

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