Agribusiness & Food, Logistics, Ports & Terminals, Mining and Heavy Industries

Record zinc, copper, fertiliser numbers drive Townsville profit

Ian Ackerman – Sydney

Port of Townsville Limited (POTL) has reported a net profit of $17.7 million for FY16.

Additionally, record amounts of zinc ferrite, fertiliser and refined copper exports and zinc concentrate imports moved through the port during the period.

More than 1.3 million tonnes of sugar was exported out of Townsville and the nearby port of Lucinda.

POTL boss Ranee Crosby said the result was good in a year that saw challenges for the North Queensland economy, with PTOL maintaining focus on improving the efficiency and capacity of existing assets.

“This focus on improving existing operations saw the completion of $26 million of infrastructure projects during the financial year, including the demolition of the century-old Berth 6/7, upgrades of pylons at Berth 8/9, upgrades to road networks for multi-combination vehicles, and harbour entrance works to improve navigational safety,” Crosby said.

“While overall trade throughput declined mainly due to the closure of the Ybulu nickel refinery, financial performance remained almost on par with the previous year.”

The CEO said the port started the $40.7 million Berth 4 Upgrade Project, which is to facilitate growth in the container and general cargo trade.

“Looking ahead, 2016/17 promises to be an exciting time with plans to progress the Channel Capacity Upgrade, the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor business case getting underway and the commencement of several focal projects within the Harbour City Gateway in the Waterfront Priority Development Area.”

Over the past financial year, the port saw trade throughput decreased from 11 million tonnes in FY15 to 9.8 million tonnes this past financial year. Vessels to port also decreased – going from 694 last year to 632 this year.

POTL’s operating revenue decreased by just more than 1% – from $75.95 million in FY15 to $75.07 million this past financial year. But, the port’s trade income increased $1.12 million year-on-year to $63.13 million.

This article originally appeared in ABHR affiliate Lloyd’s List Australia.

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