Consortium wins Webb Dock port terminal contract

Victorian International Container Terminal Limited wins lucrative contract to operate a new freight terminal at Webb Dock.

A consortium consisting of former P&O chairman and managing director Richard Setchell and Philippines company International Container Terminal Services have been awarded the lucrative contract to operate a new freight terminal at Webb Dock, the centrepiece of a $1.6 billion Port of Melbourne project.

The winning consortium, Victorian International Container Terminal Limited, beat out a host of big name rival bidders including a joint venture between Asciano and the Chris Corrigan-chaired Qube, Hutchison Port Holdings and a tie-up between French container shipping giant CMA CGM Group and Australia’s ANL and Macquarie.

Setchell — who now heads ICTS’s consortium partner Anglo Ports — has long pushed for a third operator at the city’s port.

The tender for the new container terminal was offered to the market in October 2012.

It is the centrepiece of the Victorian government’s $1.6bn Port Capacity Project, which seeks to increase the number of containers handled at the port by one million each year.

The contract includes development rights for 30ha of waterfront terminal and an off-dock area that will hold inland container depots as well as an adjoining empty container facility.

Webb Dock abutts the vacant land at Westgate, just south of the Westgate bridge, and has long been earmarked by the Victorian government for development by a third stevedore.

The proposed new dock was first floated by the Victorian government in 2002, but was mothballed when there were no interested parties.

Victorian Ports Minister Ports David Hodgett said the introduction of a third operator would promote competition in shipping at Australia’s largest container port.

“The new terminal will handle over one million standard containers each year and Victoria International Container Terminal Limited will concentrate on promoting off-peak truck movements to improve the efficiency of Victoria’s transport logistics and feed expanding supply chains,” Hodgett said.

Patrick Stevedores and Asciano also operate container terminals at the Port of Melbourne.

Hodgett said the terminal at Webb Dock would be constructed alongside the infrastructure works being delivered by the Port of Melbourne Corporation.

“Together these works, along with the construction of the pre-delivery inspection hub and the soon-to-be-announced expanded auto terminal, directly generate 1100 jobs,” he said.

“The development of a new terminal at Webb Dock will create 200 new jobs in hi-tech container handling as well as additional jobs in local logistic operations.”

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