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Global firm chosen for major environmental report into crucial SA infrastructure project

23 August 2011

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One of South Australia’s most crucial infrastructure projects – a new multi-million dollar bulk commodities export facility at Port Bonython on Spencer Gulf – is a step closer to realisation today.

Spencer Gulf Port Link Consortium – the group selected by the State Government as its preferred bidder for project – today announced it had appointed international strategic design and engineering firm, Arup, to undertake a comprehensive environmental assessment of the preferred site.

 

As part of its report, Arup will investigate a range of different issues including project management, environmental management and sustainability, rail and maritime access, and community consultation.

Arup is due to commence working on the assessment immediately, and will report back to the Consortium by 31 March 2012.

Spencer Gulf Port Link Consortium comprises Flinders Port Holdings, Leighton Contractors, Macquarie Capital, BIS Industrial Logistics and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

“South Australia is today another step closer towards construction commencing on a vital piece of state infrastructure,” Flinders Ports Chief Executive and Consortium spokesman, Mr Vincent Tremaine, said.

“Our appointment today of Arup to undertake a comprehensive environmental assessment on our preferred site of a bulk commodities export facility at Port Bonython is a major step forward in the process,” he said.

“We believe the report will further support our view that the port is viable, and in fact essential, given the expected increases in mineral resource volumes from proposed mining projects in the region.

“Port Bonython is the most appropriate location for this type of port in the area, taking in a number of factors including water depth, land availability, and its proximity to rail and proposed mining projects in the region.

“The assessment will investigate the environmental viability of the project to ensure we fully understand the footprint the development of such a port will have in the area.

“The consortium partners have been working very hard on this project to get it to this exciting stage of its development.

“We expect Arup to report back to us with a preliminary report by 31 March 2012, after which we will be able to consult with the State Government about the next stage in the process towards the construction of a bulk commodities export facility at Port Bonython.

Arup’s Adelaide Office Leader, Mr John Haese, said: “We are delighted to be working on such an important project for the State – and look forward to building a strong relationship with Spencer Gulf Port Link Consortium as we move through the environmental assessment process.

“This project is significant for Arup, as it draws upon our multiple skills and services to ensure a robust, high quality assessment is delivered. Our early involvement will enable Arup to fully comprehend the issues as they emerge and to influence positive outcomes.”

The project further builds upon Arup’s experience in delivering successful environmental assessments for complex projects such as Brisbane Airport’s new parallel runway and the Landsborough to Nambour rail corridor in Queensland. Mr Tremaine said the final design for the project is dependent on a range of issues, including geotechnical conditions, environmental controls, finalising user agreements with customers, a wide range of approvals, and financing for the project.

However, it is likely to include:

  • a three kilometre-long jetty reaching into deep water, with enclosed conveyors and a ship loader;
  • the jetty being designed to handle “Cape” size ships carrying up to 180,000 tonnes of cargo, and;
  • significant rail and storage facilities on land adjacent the jetty precinct.

Mr Tremaine said if the project is approved, construction would take about 2.5 years to complete, and employ about 400 workers. It could be ready for export in about 4.0 to 4.5 years from now.

About Spencer Gulf Port Link Consortium

The Spencer Gulf Port Link Consortium comprises consortium leader, Flinders Port Holdings, Leighton Contractors, Macquarie Capital, BIS Industrial Logistics and ARTC.

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