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WWL named as expanded Webb Dock’s developer

Process line: WWL’s development of Webb Dock West will increase annual new-car processing capacity to one million vehicles a year.

Shipping giant Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics gains right to shape terminal’s future

General News logo4 Jul 2014

By BARRY PARK

A SUBSIDIARY of global car freighting giant Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics has been named as the developer of an expanded car-processing terminal at Melbourne’s Webb Dock.

The Port of Melbourne Corporation announced this week that it had selected Melbourne International Ro-Ro Automotive Terminal (MIRRAT) for the $400 million development of the automotive and roll-on, roll-off terminal at Webb Dock West.

MIRRAT, and rival terminal operator Australian Amalgamated Terminals, were both in the running to lease the site, which is part of a $1.6 billion makeover of Melbourne’s commercial waterfront, from 2016.

The works will open up a third container terminal at the dock, as well as create “new world-class automotive facilities” for off-loading car transporters.

WWL’s bid to develop the dock gained approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in March, although the shipping company will need to uphold a court-enforceable undertaking thrashed out with the competition watchdog to provide open access to the facilities until June 30, 2040.

As part of the undertaking, the ACCC will be able to review the dock’s operation in 2018, and every five years after that.

“We are delighted for MIRRAT to be afforded this opportunity in Melbourne, and look forward to developing a terminal that all stakeholders, meaning the port, vessel operators, car and equipment importers, and the community can all take pride in,” WWL chief executive Christopher Connor said.

WWL head of Oceania, Rob Lord, said MIRRAT would be an “innovative and world class terminal that Australia, particularly Melburnians, can be proud of”.

“This terminal will be unique with a focus on modern design and strong environmental performance,” he said.

“Its efficient operations will support Melbourne’s growing trade requirements over the next 30 years.” WWL said it would start building the terminal late this year, and once operational, the newly developed site would have the capacity to handle up to a million units a year, compared with the 370,000 arrivals the dock is currently handling.

Patrick AutoCare and Prix Car have been named as the private sector operators of the site’s on-dock pre-delivery inspection facilities.

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