Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (0013.HK) has been awarded the right to operate the third container terminal at Sydney's Port Botany, due to be completed in 2012.
Australia's New South Wales state government said Friday that Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (0013.HK) has been awarded the right to operate the third container terminal at Sydney's Port Botany, due to be completed in 2012.
The win adds a 50th port to Hutchison's global port network and will give it access to a container terminal that's experienced eight consecutive years of growth in containers handled.
In the 12 months to June 30, 2009, the port handled 1.78 million containers amid a surge in demand for timber, wheat, barley and machinery, particularly from fast-growing Asian economies like China and Indonesia. Container growth was weighted to the first half of the year after demand in the second half was stunted by a sharp downturn in the global economy.
Hutchison subsidiary, Hutchison Port Holdings, will operate the new A$1 billion terminal in competition with incumbent operators Patrick, owned by Asciano Group Ltd. (AIO.AU) and P&O, owned by Dubai's DP World (DPW.DIF).
In a statement, the NSW government said the expansion of Australia's second largest container port is expected to deliver 9000 new jobs and boost the state's economy by A$16 billion over the next 20 years.
Hutchison Port Holdings Managing Director John Meredith said Port Botany already handles about one third of Australia's container traffic. "We are optimistic about the future growth of Port Botany as trade increases between Australia and Asia in line with the recovering world economy," Meredith said in a joint statement with the government.
The expansion will add 1850 meters of waterfront to the port and five new shipping berths.
Asciano said in a statement that the expansion will provide it with one additional berth. "Asciano will manage its Patrick Container Ports business appropriately to minimize the impact of a third operator through tight capital management and greater utilization of existing assets, while maintaining service quality to customers," Asciano said.
Hutchison currently operates 300 berths in 49 ports in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia.