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Monday, 01 September 2014

Western Australia privatises bulk handling facilities

Kwinana bulk jetty Kwinana bulk jetty Fremantle Ports

Western Australia (WA) will sell port handling facilities in Port Hedland and Kwinana in the first round of asset sales to reduce its debt levels and regain its triple A credit rating.

The Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility and the Kwinana Bulk Terminal are likely to be sold as a long-term lease, said WA Premier Colin Barnett.

They are in the first tranche of asset sales announced on Thursday, together with the Perth Market Authority, which manages Market City, a large distribution centre for fresh fruit and vegetables.  

“The three assets are expected to generate between $1billion and $2billion,” said Mr Barnett.

“These assets are better placed in the private sector. They are likely to be better run by the private sector.”

An invitation for Expressions of Interest will be released for bidders, followed by Request for Proposals from shortlisted bidders

Port Hedland’s Utah Point Bulk Handling facility is one of four berths owned by the Pilbara Ports Authority. It includes a ship loader, two stockyard product storage facilities and supporting infrastructure. In 2012/13, it earned $86.5 million in revenue, with $44.1 million in expenditure.

Owned and operated by the Fremantle Port Authority, the Kwinana Bulk Terminal exports and imports bulk products including coal, iron ore, liquefied petroleum gas, cement clinker, gypsum, nut coke and slag.  With a total throughput of 5.2 million tonnes in 2012-13, total revenue was $61.6 million, with total operating costs of $36 million. 

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