Dock at Port of Newcastle

New South Wales’ Port of Newcastle has welcomed the arrival of two new mobile harbour cranes from Germany, together representing a $28.4 million investment toward improving the port’s container handling capabilities.

The German-built LHM 550 cranes arrived aboard a general cargo ship and are destined for Newcastle’s versatile Mayfield four berth.

Port of Newcastle CEO, Craig Carmody, said the investment would improve existing services, and could even deliver discounted shipping costs for consumers.

“Industry has been very clear – they don’t want to have to pay more to send their container exports to Port Botany or Port of Brisbane when they could be taking advantage of Port of Newcastle’s enviable road and rail network and potentially save millions of dollars per year,” Mr Carmody said.

“These two new mobile harbour cranes will allow us to move cargo and containers within the limits that the Port Commitment Deeds (PCD) bind us, so that we can give our customers a viable alternative.”

The 550tLiebherr mobile harbour cranes feature the latest lift assistance systems for safer lifts and can handle a diverse mix of project cargo, including wind turbines, timber, steel coils, transformers and mining equipment.

They also have the capability to work in tandem for heavy lifts and lift two 20ft or one 40ft container in a single move.

Mr Carmody used the announcement to reaffirm his company’s dissatisfaction with the Port Commitment Deeds (PCD), a set of rules established following the privatisation of state ports in 2013.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has previously accused the rules of being anti-competitive and likely to prevent or hinder the development of a deepwater container port at Port of Newcastle.

“As a global trade gateway and the world’s largest coal export port, diversification isn’t an option, it’s a must, so we are taking what action we can while continuing to advocate for the removal of the PCD,” Mr Carmody said.

“By proving that there is demand for containers out of Newcastle, we hope the New South Wales Government will finally see the irrefutable benefits and remove the PCD.”

“Independent analysis has shown a Newcastle deepwater container terminal would contribute $2.5 billion to the national economy and generate more than 19,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“All while reducing road and rail congestion and providing cheaper freight costs for regional importers and exporters, which in the end means more money back into the pockets of local farmers and businesses.”

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