Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

    Jurong Town Corp among bidders for new seaport at Kwinana-Naval Base

    29/04/1998 12:00 AM



    Singapore's giant industrial developer Jurong Town Corporation is among the bidders wanting to build, own and operate the proposed new seaport at Kwinana-Naval Base which will operate in competition with Fremantle.


    Transport Minister Eric Charlton said today JTC International Pty Ltd and two other corporations had been nominated as preferred tenderers for the project and would shortly be invited to submit formal development proposals.


    The French-based Egis Group is another preferred tenderer, along with James Point Pty Ltd, a consortium of five companies controlled by Perth-based Western Stevedores.


    "I am advised that JTC International Pty Ltd and the James Point Pty Ltd consortium have entered separate bids but have also signed a formal joint venture to develop the port, which we hope will be up and running by 2001," Mr Charlton said.


    "The tender process will include a requirement that the workforce be hired under direct agreements between the manager and the employee.


    "This will guarantee continuity of operation and eradicate the sort of work practices which currently load excessive additional costs onto port users.


    "We see the new Kwinana-Naval Base port as an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to build on the reforms currently under way in regional ports along the Western Australian coast."


    Mr Charlton said the quality of the preferred tenders was outstanding.


    "The track records of port developers and operators like JTC International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Jurong Town Corporation and the Egis Group, are impressive and we now await with interest formal proposals from all the parties," he said.


    Mr Charlton said the Singapore-based JTC had a 30-year track record in industrial development throughout Asia, including ports, power plants, water treatment, and township development.


    He said JTC International currently had 17 projects in eight countries; China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, India and Singapore. The JTC Group had a reported total book asset value of US$4.7billion.


    The other international bidder, the Egis Group, had extensive experience in port management and operations and strong financial backing.


    Mr Charlton said the French-based Egis Group brought to the bid engineering and project management, transport services expertise and banking support through its lead company the French National Savings Bank (CDC).


    The James Point Pty Ltd independent bid was made up of five companies, with Western Stevedores holding a controlling interest.


    Western Stevedores was the manager and operator of the Port of Dampier, as well as carring out stevedoring operations through the Fremantle Port Authority.


    Mr Charlton said the formal announcement of preferred tenders was a major step towards the private sector development of a new port with modern, efficient and user-focussed work practices which could take advantage of the proposed upgrade of the east-west transcontinental rail freight line.


    "Australia is now committed to upgrading the east-west line to a high-speed freight corridor capable of running 1,500m long trains at an average speed of 100km per hour plus," he said.


    "Those bidding for the port know the States and the Federal Government want to see the line upgraded by 2000 and no doubt recognise the potential of creating a western freight gateway.


    "They have confidence in WA's future and see the potential of a port which can be linked to interstate trains with double-stacked containers."


    Media contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 7333.