Port Botany turns 40 | NSW Ports
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Port Botany turns 40


NSW Ports is today proud to mark the 40th anniversary of Port Botany, one of NSW’s most significant pieces of infrastructure. Two decades in the making, the construction of the container and bulk liquids port at Botany Bay created a new shipping hub for NSW that has guaranteed Sydney’s ability to handle shipping traffic into the 21st century and beyond.

At the formal opening on 10 December 1979, the then Premier Neville Wran described Port Botany as, “The most dramatic change ever in Australian ports”, and declared it to be, “One of the biggest and most complex engineering projects ever undertaken in NSW.”

Forty years on, Port Botany has cemented its place as Australia’s premier port and the heartbeat of the NSW economy. It operates around the clock to service the trade needs of businesses across NSW and support the lifestyles of everyone in the State, delivering over $3.7 billion to Gross State Product annually and creating more than 25,000 jobs per year.

NSW Ports CEO, Marika Calfas says, “With the invention of the modern shipping container in the 1950s, the NSW Government recognised the need to create large, modern port facilities to benefit from this new, more efficient and safer means of handling cargo, and Port Botany was the answer.

“It was a visionary plan, one that has secured long term capacity to efficiently handle the State’s container, bulk liquid and gas trade needs for the future. Today, containers connect us with the world, bringing us everything from footwear to furniture, fashion, toys, white goods and electrical goods. In fact, 42 percent of all goods in a Sydney household have been imported in a container through Port Botany.”

In its first year of operation, Port Botany handled 111,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs, the standard measurement of a shipping container). Today, the Port handles 99.6 per cent of NSW’s container trade, and has surpassed 2.6 million TEUs annually. Port Botany is also the primary bulk liquid and gas port in NSW, handling over 6 billion litres bitumen, LPG, bulk chemicals, refined petroleum fuels and aviation fuel.
Port Botany boasts key strengths including:
• Being the only Port in Australia with on-dock rail at all three container terminals, which avoids double handling of rail based cargo by trucks;
• Short, deep and stable shipping channels which minimise vessel transit time;
• The capability to handle very large ships; and
• The capability to handle three times the current trade volume.

Marika adds, “The good news is that even with NSW’s expected population growth, Port Botany still has significant capacity to support the State’s growing needs, and will continue to be Australia’s premier port for the next 40 years and beyond. We are proud to support the sustainable growth of NSW and to keep Australia’s economy moving.”

To celebrate this momentous milestone, NSW Ports has released a book, “The 40 Years of Port Botany”, highlighting the critical importance of Port Botany to our everyday lives. Read the book or download a copy here.

Download this media release: NSW Ports media release 10 December 2019


For more media information please contact NSW Ports on 0410 597 547 or vida.cheeseman@nswports.com.au

About NSW Ports

NSW Ports manages Port Botany and Port Kembla, key export and import gateways connecting to global markets, and the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre and the Cooks River Intermodal Terminal. NSW Ports is a private consortium of leading institutional investors: IFM Investors (including Cbus, HESTA and Hostplus), AustralianSuper, Tawreed Investments Limited and Q Super. Our shareholders represent over six million Australian superannuation fund members and are long term investors with interests in a range of Australian infrastructure assets.