$400m Darwin Ship Lift project to support 500 construction jobs

Monica Gameng   |   August 11, 2020

The first stage of the procurement process for the $400 million Ship Lift and Marine Industries Facility in the Northern Territory is now underway with construction tenders now out to market. In addition, geotechnical and survey works are currently underway at the project site.

Procurement for the Darwin Ship Lift project will focus on buying local and supporting local businesses.

Following the Expressions of Interest (EOIs) that commenced this week, shortlisted participants will progress to the request for proposals stage and then followed by the request for a detailed design for the Ship Lift project.

Major construction activity on the Ship Lift is expected to begin next year.

The Ship Lift and Marine Industries Facility was announced last year, and the Northern Territory Government is expecting the project to inject about $260 million into the State economy annually once the new facility is operational in additional to creating hundreds of jobs.

"The ship lift will be built in the Northern Territory. It will create more [than] 500 jobs during construction and 400 long term jobs in the marine industries that will grow because of it.

"Throughout the coronavirus crisis, the Territory Government's top priorities have been saving lives and saving jobs. But we are also working on creating new jobs for Territorians," Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.

This new facility is anticipated to become Northern Australia’s largest which will have the capability to service vessels from industries such as offshore petroleum, commercial fishing, pearling, Defence and Border Force.

Once operational, the Ship Lift and Marine Industries Facility will position Darwin as a competitive national and international participant in the maritime maintenance and service sector that will help slash sailing time by about 10 days to a comparable facility elsewhere for maintenance.

"We are the safest in Australia which means we can have the strongest comeback in Australia. The Ship Lift will help the Territory become Australia's comeback capital.

"We will keep doing whatever it takes to protect and create jobs, and we will always put the Territory first," the Chief Minister said.

Paspaley Group will be developing and operating the facility, which is going to be built on State Government-owned land.

Paspaley is also planning to relocate its current out-of-water marine servicing operations to the new East Arm facility once it is operational and this move is expected to bring in additional benefits to the State economy.

The Ship Lift is going to be a common user facility and a State-owned asset, with access to the facilities and infrastructure available to anyone on a user-pays basis that is subject to access and pricing legislation and regulated by the Utilities Commission.

The Ship Lift and Marine Industries Facility will include:

  • A ship lift 26-metre wide, 103-metre long and 6-metre deep
  • Lifting capability of 5,000 tonnes
  • Wet berths (wharves)
  • Additional hard stand area for ship repair and maintenance works

The new facility is expected to be operational in 2024.


Source: Northern Territory Government Newsroom; NT Department of Trade, Business and Innovation

Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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