The Esperance Port (Western Australia) has selected a preferred proponent to design, finance, build and operate a new multi-user iron ore facility at the port.
On Wednesday, 7 May, 2014, the Yilgarn Esperance Solutions (YES) was named as the preferred proponent for the project. The consortium is composed of: McConnell Dowell Constructors, Asciano and Marubeni Corporation.
In his media release, Western Australia's Transport Minister Dean Nalder said that:
"The companies which make up YES have a proven track record in developing and operating ports in Australia and internationally."
The consortium beat out competition from the other shortlisted team formed by Qube Bulk in partnership with Brookfield Infrastructure.
The project has a cost of A$120 million.
The consortium will now enter into contract negotiations with the Esperance Port and potential users of the new facility. The new facility is expected to almost double the Port's export capacity - from about 11 million tonnes to more than 20 million tonnes.
Esperance Port has been exporting iron ore since 1995. From small initial shipments of 1.5 million tonnes a year, exports have increased over the years and in 2011-12 the Port handled about nine million tonnes. This is expected to increase to about 11.5 million tonnes in 2012-13, the limit of the Port's current environmental operating licence.
Esperance Port is the deepest port in southern Australia and is capable of handling cape sized vessels that are most suited for the iron ore trade. The Port is connected to the mining regions to the north by the Leonora-Kalgoorlie-Esperance standard gauge railway line and to the east-west transcontinental railway line at Kalgoorlie.
An advertisement was published in the National and State media on Saturday, 26 June, 2012, seeking private sector interest in participating in this project by Friday, 6 July, 2012.