Australia’s busiest container port is about to get bigger, after the Victorian government announced a $1.2 billion development of the Port of Melbourne, creating about 2600 direct and 1900 indirect jobs.
The expansion will result in the introduction of a third container terminal at Webb Dock to cater for more than one million more containers a year.
A bidding process will be conducted for the right to operate the new terminal.
The project will involve a significant upgrade of infrastructure at Swanson Dock, where containers are handled currently.
Last year, a record 2.4 million ‘twenty-foot equivalent’ containers were handled through the Port of Melbourne. The figure is expected to hit 5.5 million in 2025, and top 8 million in 2035.
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said new on- and off-ramps would be built to link the port directly to the MI.
“A fantastic aspect of this development will be the construction of a dedicated route for trucks accessing Webb Dock,” Baillieu said.
“Williamstown Road will be completely free from port trucks.”
Baillieu said the major infrastructure project would be an opportunity to cement Victoria’s reputation as the freight and logistics capital of Australia.
Ports Minister Denis Napthine says the upgrade will secure Melbourne as the freight and logistics capital of Australia.
“This (project) which includes the expansion of east and west Swanson Dock capacity and the building of a new container terminal at Webb Dock, will be funded by the Port of Melbourne and by the stevedores who’ll be involved in the three container terminals,” Napthine said.
“If this doesn’t go ahead, we will be chock-a-block in the Port of Melbourne within a few years … This is absolutely essential to ensure we have the capacity to deal with the trade coming through our port,” Napthine said, according to the Herald Sun.
Surveying work on the project starts today and the government estimates it will be completed by 2016.