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Infrastructure upgrades at Western Australia’s Dampier Port have been given the green light due to a need for additional capacity.
State treasurer and transport minister Troy Buswell announced that the government is now seeking a private-public partnership deal between Dampier Port Authority and a successful bidder.
“Dampier Port is one of the world’s largest bulk exporting ports and is vital to WA’s iron ore sector, as well as the exploration and development of offshore and onshore oil and gas facilities,” he explained.
“Last financial year, the port marked a record tonnage throughput and it is growing at around 5 per cent per year.”
However, this increased demand and potential for future expansion has put existing infrastructure under pressure. Approximately $95 billion worth of resources projects across the Pilbara region already rely on the port in some way.
The facility’s development will come as good news for companies investing in mining training in the area, as businesses look to ramp up production and boost revenues.
Rio Tinto highlighted in its most recent quarterly report that the Pilbara was a significant contributor to the firm posting record iron-ore production figures for the three months to December 2013.
Discussing the benefits of the port expansion, Mr Buswell said it would increase construction and operational jobs, while boosting trade and regional growth.
“More private sector investment at Dampier Port will help alleviate capacity constraints and delays, ease road congestion by allowing freight to be transported by sea to the port, while removing risks to government associated with financing, building and operating the facility,” he added.
The minister also claimed the project would help WA regain its AAA credit rating, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the state to AA+ in September last year.
The Dampier Port Authority will open an expression of interest to bidders in the coming months.