Premier Peter Beattie welcomed Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) to Brisbane today when he announced the company as preferred operator for the Port of Brisbane’s new container berths.
Mr Beattie said HPH was one of the world’s leading port investors, developers and operators, operating a total of 257 berths in 45 ports around the world.
“HPH has interests in 23 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas,” Mr Beattie said.
“In percentage terms, the Port of Brisbane is Australia’s fastest growing container port and having a global player like HPH on board is a welcome addition during this time of rapid expansion.
“The Government has invested $300 million in port and related infrastructure at the Port of Brisbane precincts in 2005/06 and 06/07.
“We will invest a further $200 million over five years in Berths 11 and 12 and associated terminals, which will increase Brisbane’s container-handling facility by 25 percent and take the number of dedicated container wharves at the port to nine.
“Preliminary construction has already begun, with Berth 11 expected to be operational by mid-2012 and Berth 12 in mid-2014.
“Construction is also well underway on Berth 10, which is expected to be operational by July 2008.
“This shows the Port of Brisbane is well ahead of the game in planning for and delivering port infrastructure to meet the demands of South East Queensland’s continued growth,” he said.
Transport Minister Paul Lucas said the Port of Brisbane was Australia’s third busiest container port and the fastest growing port in the country.
“The Port of Brisbane has had 13 years of consecutive growth in total tonnage and 21 years of consecutive growth in container trade,” Mr Lucas said.
“Throughput for the port for July to December 2006 outperformed that of the corresponding period in the previous financial year, with container trade growing strongly by 9.6 percent, or almost 37,000 containers, compared to the same period in 2005-06.”
Group Managing Director of HPH John Meredith said, “We are very pleased to learn that HPH has been chosen as the preferred operator for the development of Berths 11 and 12 in the Port of Brisbane.
“In HPH we recognise that good labour relations are key to any business success. We are committed to collective bargaining and will seek to enter into an enterprise agreement with the Maritime Union of Australia for our Brisbane operations.
“HPH looks forward to working with the Port of Brisbane Corporation to finalise arrangements for the development,” he said.
Mr Beattie said the expansion of Port of Brisbane was a clear demonstration of Queensland’s commitment to increasing its port facilities to meet rapidly increasing demand.
“With the private sector, Queensland is investing $2.3B in expanding and upgrading Queensland’s port coal export capacity to 213 million tonnes per annum by the end of this year – that’s a 33% increase since 2005,” he said.