The Commonwealth Government has announced its approval for Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA), a consortium of Qube and Aurizon to develop and operate the open access intermodal freight terminal at Moorebank in Sydney.
Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) will enter into an agreement with SIMTA to develop and operate the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, which will enable more shipping containers to travel by rail, reducing the distance travelled by freight trucks on Sydney’s roads at the same time as helping Port Botany to continue to grow.
The precinct will include an import-export (IMEX) freight terminal with eventual capacity for up to 1.05 million containers per year, and an interstate freight terminal with capacity for up to 500,000 containers a year. Stage 1 will see 250,000 containers per year through the IMEX facility. The first stage of the interstate terminal will have a similar capacity. Subsequent stages will be developed in line with demand.
“We are delighted that this agreement between SIMTA and MIC has been approved,” said Kerry Schott, Chair of MIC. “The terminal is critical infrastructure that will help unlock Sydney’s transport gridlock and get more interstate freight on rail. The terminal will be open access for transport operators to increase competition in the freight market, it will support Federal and New South Wales targets to get more freight on rail, and the cost to government will be small.”
The Federal Government is expected to invest around $370 million in the development, including funding the rail connection between the terminal and the Southern Sydney Freight Line and land preparation works. SIMTA has committed to build and operate the terminals and has development rights for associated warehousing at a total project cost of approximately $1.5 billion over ten years. The precinct will include 850,000 square metres of integrated warehousing when fully developed. The IMEX terminal is expected to start operations in late 2017 and the interstate terminal in 2019.
“ALC has long advocated for this key ‘inland port’ to be developed in such a way that maximises the enormous potential of this site, which sits at the juncture of major road and rail links in Sydney’s logistics heartland,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director of the Australian Logistics Council. “Central to this position has been our belief that the entire site should be developed in a manner that most efficiently facilitates the movement of freight to and from Port Botany within the shortest timeframe, the key to which is developing the entire Moorebank as part of a ‘whole of precinct’ approach.