Hutchison leads short list of contenders for new Melbourne port terminal

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Ports is seen as the leading contender in the bid to operate a new container terminal in Melbourne.

The SMH reports that the Port of Melbourne has released a short list of four bidders for the $1.2 billion port to be located at Webb Dock East.

The other candidates include Qube Logistics, a Macquarie-backed consortium and another group which comprises Anglo Ports and an Asian ports operator.

As Melbourne’s third port, this new terminal will be mandated to shift at least a million containers each year. It is expected to open in late 2016.

The four bidders will need to lodge their proposals by September. The winner is expected to be announced early in 2014.

Hutchison Ports has already been awarded the right to become the third operator in Brisbane, where it recently opened its terminal at Fisherman Island. And it has been awarded the right to open a port in Sydney and plans to do so at Port Botany by the end of this year.

The third terminal will constitute the main part of a $1.6 billion makeover of the port. It includes about 30 hectares of waterfront and an adjoining empty container facility.

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