A detailed business case for the upcoming Channel Capacity Upgrade, which is Stage 1 of the $1.64 billion Townsville Port Expansion Project, has been prepared for consideration by the Queensland Government.
The business case delivers on the first major commitment under the Port City initiative of the Townsville City Deal, and a summary of the document will be published by the end of June.
According to the port, the Channel Capacity Upgrade is a critical project for the future growth, competitiveness and resilience of North Queensland.
The business case outlines direct and indirect benefits of widening the existing navigational channels, with a goal of ensuring growth of trade and maximizing the efficiency of existing port infrastructure.
Channel widening will provide the safest, most cost effective and environmentally sustainable solution for meeting the freight requirements of North Queensland.
The Channel Capacity Upgrade will:
- Deliver benefits to Queensland of more than $580 million;
- Create 120 FTE jobs in Townsville during construction and support 245 FTE jobs in Queensland;
- Lower freight costs for North Queensland;
- Reduce carbon emissions into the environment by removing 8,230 B-Double trucks off road highways between Brisbane and Townsville;
- Allow cruise tourism to further flourish by accommodating ships up to 300 meters.
The Stage 1 of the expansion project is to start later this year with the estimated completion in 2022. Approximately $520 million will be spent over five years for the Stage 1 works.