Fremantle Ports terminals set for tender

04/05/2018 - 14:48

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The state government has announced Fremantle Ports will go to the market to lease the two container shipping terminals at North Quay.

Patrick and DP World have held the leases since 1996. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government has announced Fremantle Ports will go to the market to lease the two container shipping terminals at North Quay.

The terminals have been operated by DP World and Patrick since 1996, with the current leases set to expire in June 2019.

Patrick is jointly owned by ASX-listed Qube Holdings and global investor Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announced today that the opportunity was being offered in an open market expression-of-interest process.

The main competition for the tender is likely to come from Hutchison Ports Australia, which has started operations on the east coast over the past four years.

Fremantle Ports will grant new seven-year leases with options for extensions for two further periods of up to seven years, dependant on the outcome of the Westport strategy.

The Westport taskforce will make recommendations on additional container port facilities by the end of next year, as part of its assessment of the planned Outer Harbour development at Cockburn Sound.

"The approach being taken provides a level of certainty for industry and flexibility to allow the government to implement future Westport recommendations,” Ms Saffioti said

"As part of the process, we will be looking for proposals that will improve the efficiency of land transport movements of containers to and from the port that will benefit the community.

"We have already achieved some success in increasing the percentage of freight on rail to Fremantle Port, and will continue to drive to achieve more."

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest report on Australia’s stevedoring industry, released in November, cited the recent introduction of additional infrastructure charges by DP World and Patrick.

“There has been a lot of controversy with different views on whether the charges are justified and how they will impact on the sector,” the ACCC said.

“The stevedores have said that the charges are required in response to increasing costs and in order to fund investment in infrastructure.

“There is merit to the stevedores’ claims that property costs are increasing.

“However, overall unit costs for both stevedores remain stable.”

The ACCC said it was currently unable to quantify the increases in revenue given the charges haven’t been in place for a full year.

 

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