Saturday 24th Jul, 2021

Port Botany Freight Line Duplication named priority project

Freight transport improvements at Port Botany are one step closer, with major firms shortlisted to design and build the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects.

Infrastructure Australia has added the $400 million Port Botany Freight Line Duplication to its Infrastructure Priority List.

The project will see the remaining 2.9 kilometres of freight rail line duplicated between Mascot and Botany, along with the construction of a passing loop on the Southern Sydney Freight Line at Cabramatta.

It is fully funded by the Federal Government and will be delivered by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

Originally announced in May 2018, ARTC submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project to the NSW Department of Planning for approval in October last year. The EIS is in the final stages of approval.

Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew said Port Botany play a critical role as Sydney’s primary container port.

“Port Botany handles 99% of NSW’s container demand, making it a critical international gateway for Australia and a backbone asset for economic product within Sydney and New South Wales,” Madew said.

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“With demand only increasing, it is vital that Port Botany maintains throughput capacity to meet container growth over the long term.”

NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said the project will benefit the consumers and businesses of NSW with improved supply chain efficiency, resilience and environmental sustainability.

“Having been under development for many years, this project is ‘shovel ready’ and should be progressed as a priority to deliver long term port supply chain productivity benefits and provide needed economic stimulus for the state,” Calfas said.

“Port Botany handles 99 per cent of NSW’s container volume and has the highest volume of containers transported by rail of all ports in the country, at 440,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) per year.

“Using rail, together with trucks, to move the goods for all Sydneysiders who rely on containerised freight for our everyday needs will reduce the growth of trucks on Sydney’s road network. For every 1 million TEU moved by rail the number of trucks around the port are reduced by 900 trucks per day.”

Calfas said the project aligns with NSW Ports’ long-term strategy to move three million TEU by rail.

“Port Botany is the only container port in Australia with on-dock rail at all three of its container terminals and, together with the stevedores, we are making significant investments to increase port-side rail capacity to meet this goal,” she said.

“The first stage of investment of $190 million commenced in 2019 and will be complete by 2023. This will double existing rail capacity at Port Botany.”