AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Patrick headlines its port terminal expansions at AGM

<p>Patrick chief Chris Corrigan says that the company will spend $425m on civil works and equipment at its terminals in the next three years, as it doubles capacity in Sydney to 1.3m teu by 2008 and pushes Melbourne from 800,000 teu to 1.5m teu by 2009.</p> <p>Mr Corrigan’s extensive presentation on ports at the Patrick Corp annual general meeting this morning (Thursday, February 3) was clearly intended as a further riposte to claims Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel made that the stevedoring duopoly has been content for waterfront reform and investment to stall, and for costs to users to rise. </p> <p>Patrick’s straddle fleet in Sydney will rise to 32 units as part of the reconfiguration of the terminal now underway around five rail-mounted gantries servicing road and train movements, Mr Corrigan said. Two new post-panamax quay cranes are on order.</p> <p>The 13-unit straddle fleet in Brisbane, now being replaced by robot straddles, will be transferred to East Swanson Dock to boost the fleet there to 44, including four new machines, he said. </p> <p>Crane heights are also being raised. </p> <p>There was often confusion over the real capacity of terminals, Mr Corrigan said, and altering a number of variables could change their capability. </p> <p>The existing site in Melbourne could handle growth for 25 to 30 years. </p> <p>But he said that the planning environment in which the company worked was often "either glacial or variable from year to year as new directors or chief executives arrive which is hard in a 20-year planning vision".</p> <p>On Pacific National, Mr Corrigan said that demand for intermodal services was outstripping resources as fuel costs forced freight off rail. </p> <p>He flagged that further investment in intermodal terminals "will take Pacific National’s intermodal operations into a new league".</p> <br />