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Adam Giles, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Government (Australia), has announced that the lease of the Darwin Port for 99 years has been awarded to Shandong Landbridge Group.
Under the terms of the agreement the government will lease the Darwin Port land and facilities of East Arm Wharf (including the Darwin Marine Supply Base) and Fort Hill Wharf but it will retain Stokes Hill Wharf, Fisherman's & Hornibrook's Wharves and Frances Bay facilities. It will also retain a range of oversight and regulatory functions including the Regional Harbourmaster role and responsibility for price and access regulation.
The successful bidder was selected following a competitive process which included local and international interest and resulted in several binding offers. The team beat out competotion several companies including Asciano, Flinders, and JPMorgan.
The Port of Darwin is critical infrastructure for the Northern Territory. It is a major conduit for goods and fuel and the primary means by which the agricultural and mining products get to market. The port is a multi-user, mixed cargo and marine services port facilitating livestock exports, dry bulk imports and exports, offshore oil and gas support vessels, petroleum imports, container trade, cruise ship and naval vessel visits.
Landbridge Infrastructure Australia's Director, Mr Mike Hughes, said:
"Through our significant investment in the Port of Darwin, Landbridge intends to grow two way trade between Australia and Asia, leveraging Landbridge's existing port and logistics businesses and firmly putting Darwin on the map for Chinese business. We plan on making considerable financial investment in the Port of Darwin. In addition to committing an initial $35 million of new growth investment expenditure over the first 5 years, we anticipate in excess of $200 million of capital expenditure over the next 25 years. Given the scope of development opportunities in the Territory, we hope to invest a lot more."