Townsville Bulletin

Surge in cars revs up port

$14m profit in tough year


A SURGE in the number of motor vehicles and containeri­sed goods imported through the Port of Townsville has helped deliver a small rise in profit in the face of another challengin­g year.

The port’s 2020-21 annual report, tabled in state parliament, shows it delivered a net profit after tax of $14.3m, up 3.3 per cent on the previous year, despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While overall trade dropped to 7.7 million tonnes, compared to 8.2 million tonnes in the previous year, containeri­sed trade rose 17 per cent and motor vehicle imports increased 34 per cent.

The port also recorded increased trade in exports of fertiliser and refined metals and imports of cement, fertiliser and petroleum products.

Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said the result was positive as the global landscape continued to be redefined by uncertaint­y.

“As the world changes, we have maintained a strong focus on keeping vital trade moving to support the people and the economy of North Queensland,” Ms Crosby said. “An overall decline in trade was driven by changes in mineral concentrat­es supply chains, with refineries sourcing larger volumes from mines in the region instead of overseas. This highlighte­d the strength of the North West Minerals Province to service refineries in our region.

“We welcomed strong growth in containeri­sed and motor vehicle imports, and North Queensland’s resilience in such times demonstrat­es how vital it is that we continue to facilitate trade for the diverse range of industries.

“On top of that our continuing capital works program will guarantee our region’s growth for the years to come.”

The Port of Townsville’s investment in trade throughout 2020-21 included:

• Continuati­on of the largest infrastruc­ture project in the port’s history, the $232m Channel Upgrade project;

• Constructi­on of the 2.2km rock wall and 62ha reclamatio­n area is now complete and capital dredging is due to begin in late 2021;

• Completion of the $30m Berth 4 Ship-to-shore Crane and Cargo Area to grow container and general cargo trade in the region;

• Completion of a $4.5m truck staging area to reduce congestion and improve safety and efficiency of truck movements;

• Commission­ing the new $3.3m custom-built pilot vessel, Mantaray; and

• Signing a Memorandum of Understand­ing with Origin Energy to export hydrogen to Asia, and advanced investigat­ions with a number of other proponents including Ark Energy and Edify Energy to develop clean energy projects that could drive significan­t economic growth for the region.

During the year, the port increased its commitment to sustainabi­lity with the release of Port Vision 2050 strategy. It included a $50,000 Port Community Fund, a commitment to become carbon neutral for port operations by 2025, planting one million additional native trees by 2050 and delivery of the $1.6bn Port Expansion Project by 2050.

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