Darwin Ship Lift and Marine Industry Project

Darwin ship lift site

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 103m ship lift capable of lifting vessels up to 5,000 tonnes
  • 26m width
  • 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.

Territory-owned and headquartered Paspaley Group is partnering with the Territory Government in the $400 million project. The agreement between the Territory and Paspaley will result in the ship lift being constructed on Territory Government-owned land, operated by Paspaley under a 10-year renewable agreement. The facility will operate on a commercial basis under 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 early 2023.

For further enquiries please contact SIP@nt.gov.au

Last updated: 22 August 2019

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