The State Government has given the green light to a private public partnership between the Dampier Port Authority (DPA) and a successful bidder to boost its port capacity.
Treasurer and Transport Minister Troy Buswell said Dampier Port Authority will soon seek market interest in developing much-needed new infrastructure as well as leasing some existing facilities at the port.
“Dampier Port is one of the world’s largest bulk exporting ports and is vital to WA’s iron ore sector, as well as the exploration and development of offshore and onshore oil and gas facilities,” Mr Buswell said.
“Last financial year the port marked a record tonnage throughput and it is growing at around five per cent per year. However, the port’s high level of growth has put pressure on its infrastructure which is not keeping up with demand.
“More private sector investment at Dampier Port will help alleviate capacity constraints and delays, ease road congestion by allowing freight to be transported by sea to the port, while removing risks to Government associated with financing, building and operating the facility.
“Importantly, it reflects our policy to continue attracting further private investment in our ports.”
The Treasurer said it was also consistent with the Government’s agenda to return the State’s AAA credit rating, and was part of a broader, considered plan to address budget issues which also included the scoping of potential asset sales.
A market-sounding process carried out by DPA in 2012 identified sufficient commercial interest for the Dampier Marine Services facilities, which will include the Dampier Cargo Wharf, Dampier Bulk Liquids Berth, Heavy Load Out Facility, Alternative Load Out Facility and about 7.2 hectares of leasable land.
The Dampier Port Authority will retain responsibility for the safe operation of the port.
The benefits of increased commercialisation of port assets and expansion of new facilities include:
– An increase in construction and operational jobs;
– Improved levels of trade and regional economic growth;
– Reduced freight costs;
– Reduced congestion and increased port capacity.
The expansion plans follow previous private sector investment in floating deck applications at Dampier Port.
The Dampier Port Authority will open an expression of interest in coming months.
Press Release, February 5, 2014