Moorebank Intermodal Terminal. Graphic: MICL

Moorebank Logistics Park recognised for sustainability

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) has awarded the first stage of the Moorebank Logistics Park an Excellent Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating for design.

The IS rating scheme seeks to evaluate and promote sustainability in infrastructure programs, projects, networks, and assets, and looks a broad range of indicators to assess a projects governance, economic, environmental, and social sustainability. Excellent is the second highest rating a project can receive.

Michael Yiend director of development at Qube, which manages the development of the Moorebank intermodal site, said that the rating highlights the innovations that were a part of the project.

The Moorebank Logisitics Park’s use of automation in particular helped the project reduce its greenhouse gas footprint. By using automated gantry cranes, straddle carriers, sortation systems and terminal operation systems, Qube can reduce energy use, while enhancing safety and productivity.

Overall, the site’s energy efficient design will save two million tonnes of CO2 equivalents over 40 years of operations, however through transporting freight via rail, rather than road, the site will contribute to a reduction of four million tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

CEO of ISCA Ainsley Simpson said that with 70 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions enabled by the infrastructure sector, with the majority coming from transport, projects such as Moorebank are critical.

“Moorebank Intermodal demonstrates that freight infrastructure presents an opportunity for decarbonisation through better measurement, reporting and implementation of reduction initiatives.”

Ian Learmouth, CEO of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) which invested in the project, said that Qube had exceeded Australia-first sustainability standards.

“Qube’s success reflects its commitment to sustainability and demonstrates the possibilities for decarbonisation across even the most complex infrastructure operation,” said Learmouth. Infrastructure is considered a challenging sector to decarbonise, yet this project shows that it also offers great potential. Qube tapped into that potential to find many creative ways to lower its carbon emissions.”

Half the energy required for the 243-hectare precinct will be generated by solar power, and the first warehouse will have one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the southern hemisphere, generating 3MW. In addition, the project used a unique modelling technique to address climate risks related to the urban heat island effect, a first for Australia.

Learmouth said that the project would serve as a guide for future developments.

“The lessons learned from the design and construction of Moorebank will see the benefits of this project multiplied across the infrastructure sector – another significant step towards its decarbonisation and Australia’s transition to a clean energy economy.”

Simpson concurred.

“The leadership demonstrated thought this project could shift the freight industry to move beyond compliance on multiple fronts – decarbonisation, reliability and safety. It sets a new standard for intermodal infrastructure.

“There is real potential to influence wider supply chain activity, shaping a resilient freight sector that delivers innovation and improved productivity now and in the long term.”

Woolworths

Woolworths commits to Moorebank distribution centre

Woolworths has agreed to be a new, major tenant at the Moorebank Logistics Park in south west Sydney.

The supermarket giant has partnered with Qube, which is the manager of the Moorebank Logistics Park, to build a national and regional distribution centre across over 75,000sqm.

Qube managing director Maurice James said that a key advantage of the site was its rail connection.

“We’re delighted Woolworths has recognised the significant competitive advantages available to tenants at the Moorebank Logistics Park,” he said.

“The benefits of railing containers direct from Port Botany to a terminal co-located with warehousing across a site the size of the Sydney CBD will deliver Woolworths time and cost efficiencies.”

The recently developed Moorebank Logistics Park has a direct rail link to Port Botany and there are plans to develop an interstate rail terminal in the future. When complete, 1.5 million TEUs will be able to be transported between Port Botany, Moorebank, and the national rail freight network.

Moving more freight via rail will reduce heavy truck movement on Sydney roads, with Woolworth’s estimating that rail access will remove least 26,000 truck movements in NSW per year.

Australian Logistics Council CEO Kirk Coningham said the agreement between Qube and Woolworths showed the benefits of investing in rail.

“ALC has been a long-time advocate for the development of the Moorebank Logistics Park and its direct rail connection to Port Botany. This allows more freight to be moved via rail, helping to alleviate road congestion, which in turn delivers environmental benefits through reduced emissions.”

According to Qube, rail from Botany to Sydney’s south west enables containers to be delivered to the warehouse, unpacked and dispatched on the same day as the container is unloaded at the port.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said that locating at Moorebank would improve the company’s operations.

The new facilities will help us improve on-shelf product availability with faster restocking, reducing congestion in stores, and enabling a safer work environment for our teams with less manual handling.”

The move to Moorebank is a consolidation of Woolworth’s distribution sites at Yennore, Mulgrave, and parts of Minchinbury.

Both the national and regional distribution centres are subject to NSW government planning approval and are expected to open in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

New chair for Moorebank board

Alan Tudge, Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, has announced that the federal government has appointed Erin Flaherty as the Chair of the Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) board.

Flaherty will serve a three-year term and takes over from Kerry Schott as the head of the board for the company which is overseeing the construction of the intermodal terminal in south-west Sydney.

Flaherty has served on the boards of other transport projects, including for one year as a board member for Sydney Metro and five years as an advisory board member for the North West Rail project.

Coming to the MIC, Flaherty also brings her experience as the executive director of Infrastructure New South Wales and advisory board member for Sydney Light Rail.

Ultimately, the MIC is the Commonwealth entity responsible for facilitating the precinct’s development, which will be developed by the Sydney intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA), owned by Qube Holdings.

Flaherty joined the MIC when she was appointed as a non-executive director in March 2019. This coincided with the transition from the construction to operational phase.

Once completed, the 243ha site will include 850,000sqm of warehousing fed by a non-stop shuttle between Moorebank and Port Botany. A rail terminal will connect the intermodal terminal with rail networks across NSW and around the country.