Balla Balla interest lifts confidence
Government and industry bodies in the Pilbara have met formalised Chinese interest in the $5.6 billion Balla Balla Infrastructure Project with enthusiasm.
Construction of the mine, port and rail project was given the green light last week after the BBI Group signed a memorandum of understanding with China State Construction Engineering Corporation.
Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive John Lally said the news would boost business confidence and activity.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said he was pleased to see a commitment to prioritising local procurement. The project is expected to deliver more than 3000 jobs during construction and about 900 jobs during production.
The number of those jobs based in the Pilbara depends on the availability of housing and sealing of the Karratha to Tom Price Road.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced $50 million to seal the next stage of the road as part of Labor’s plan for the Pilbara during the election campaign.
“We will put it in as a totally State Government-funded project,” she said.
“The remaining parts of the road remaining will be an expensive and complex project and we will be putting that on our shopping list in our priorities for Federal Government funding.”
BBIG chairman Jon Young said the MOU was a significant milestone for the project.
“Partnering with China State Construction Engineering Corporation provides BBIG the opportunity to access CSCEC’s large-scale infrastructure delivery capabilities,” he said.
If a final investment decision is made, construction could begin on the project as early as next year.