Darwin Ship Lift and Marine Industry Project

View the transcript for the Darwin Ship Lift and Marine Industry Project fly through video.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

The ship lift project remains a critical priority project for the Northern Territory (NT) Government and the project team remain solely focused on progressing negotiations, engineering and environmental aspects of the project.

The NT Government is building the largest ship lift in Northern Australia. The Ship Lift Facility will enable the maintenance and servicing of Defence and Australian Border Force vessels, along with commercial and private vessels, including from the oil, gas and marine industries.

The project will drive local industry, create local jobs and help to consolidate Darwin’s position as a hub for marine maintenance and servicing.

The Darwin Ship Lift Facility will be designed to meet the needs of the general maritime sector and the current and long-term needs of the Department of Defence and the Australian Border Force, while supporting local jobs and economic growth in the Territory.

It is estimated around 100 workers will be employed throughout the facility’s construction phase, and once operational the facility will be a catalyst for the development of a marine maintenance and servicing industry, and the creation of many new jobs.

The common user ship lift facility will include:

  • a ship lift 26m wide, 103m long and 6m deep
  • lifting capability of 5,000 tonnes
  • four wet berths (wharves)
  • 20ha of hard stand area for ship repair and maintenance works.

The ship lift will have the capacity to lift vessels such as the new fleet of offshore patrol vessels procured by the Australian Defence Force.

The Ship Lift facility will be a common user facility, this will enable vessel owners to choose and manage their own service and maintenance providers. This will also enable multiple providers to operate concurrently at the facility.

An in principle agreement between the Territory and Paspaley will result in the Northern Territory Government constructing the ship lift on Territory Government-owned land. Once constructed, the facility will be operated and maintained by Paspaley under a 10-year renewable agreement. This critical infrastructure will be a Territory owned asset.

The ship lift is a common user facility that will operate on a commercial basis. There will be a legislated open access regime to ensure fair and equal use for all customers. Pricing and access will be overseen by the independent Utilities Commission.The next steps are the finalisation of a project development agreement with the Paspaley Group and attaining all relevant environmental approvals. A Territory Government procurement process will be undertaken to award an engineering, design and construct tender. It is envisaged that this contract will be awarded in late 2020, enabling construction to commence during 2021.

Construction is anticipated to take two years, enabling the facility to be operating in 2023.

For further enquiries email major.projects@nt.gov.au

Suppliers are encouraged to contact the Industry Capability Network NT (ICN NT) for information on how local businesses can work together during the construction and operational phases. To register your interest in the ICN NT database, go to the ICN Gateway website.

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Last updated: 17 April 2020

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