Asciano to expand and automate Port Botany
Port operator, Asciano will spend $348m to expand capacity by nearly 50% at its container terminal at Port Botany. The arrival of automated equipment, such as AutoStrads, will see the loss of 270 jobs.
The expansion, due to be completed in 2014, will see Asciano develop recently released land at Port Botany known as the Knuckle.
It will also introduce what it describes as “state-of-the-art terminal handling technology”, additional cranes and straddles, and new upgraded employee facilities.
At completion, Port Botany will have four berths and 1400m of quay line. The project will increase capacity from 1.15 million to 1.6 million TEU per annum to meet current trade growth forecasts.
Asciano chief executive and managing director, John Mullen said, “The redevelopment will reinforce Patrick’s position as Australia’s leading stevedore, ensuring our ongoing competitiveness by delivering improved customer service, higher levels of safety, and significantly enhanced operational efficiency and productivity.”
The investment is intended to deliver substantial returns from productivity improvements including significant cost savings. Asciano says it will secure Patrick’s tenure at Port Botany until at least 2043.
The project includes the installation of automated straddle carrier (AutoStrad) technology.
The AutoStrad technology has been operating in the Port of Brisbane since 2005, and Asciano says it has delivered significant safety and efficiency improvements.
Further redevelopment of Port Botany will be carried out under a staged approach as volumes grow over the next three decades.
Asciano says it has the flexibility to additionally increase capacity at the Terminal beyond 2014 by introducing automatic stacking cranes expanding capacity by an additional 75% to 2.8 million TEU per annum.
“The redevelopment of our Port Botany Container Terminal together with the previously announced nine new cranes and additional equipment at our Brisbane, Melbourne and Fremantle and Sydney container terminals will continue to drive productivity on Australian wharves towards best practice,” Mullen added.
Approximately 270 positions are expected to be made redundant at the end of the project in mid-2014, however Asciano says it is strongly committed to identifying redeployment opportunities for affected staff.
“We are committed to working closely with all employees impacted by the decision and will immediately commence consultation with our workforce and their representatives on the likely implications on future labour requirements and working arrangements.
“We will be going above and beyond to invest significantly in and support our employees throughout the transition period. In addition to redundancy payments, the company will provide comprehensive employee assistance and support programmes including training, financial planning and career transition assistance. All of our employees will also have access to additional incentive payments conditional upon maintaining appropriate levels of performance,” Mullen said.