Australian stevedore Asciano will invest US$359 million to redevelop and expand its container terminal at Port Botany in Sydney.
The project will increase the gateway’s capacity from its current 1.15 million TEUs per year to 1.6 million TEUs in 2014.
After 2014, further capacity will be added in line with demand by introducing additional stacker cranes to take capacity up to 2.8 million TEUs per annum.
“This flexibility ensures the company can meet not only its long-term business objectives but also the growth expectations for trade in New South Wales and beyond in a cost-effective way,” Asciano said.
However, the company drew fire from unions after admitting the modernization would see some 270 redundancies, more than half the current work force, when more automated equipment is introduced on completion of the project in mid-2014.
Mick Doleman, Maritime Union of Australia deputy national secretary, said unions had been given assurances in recent wage negotiations with Asciano that straddle carriers would be fully manned. He also claimed the use of expensive automated technology was more about the company’s anti-union ideology than terminal productivity gains.
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