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Asciano tipped to export know-how


Wednesday, 24 Jun 2015 ( #724 ) - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Local News Story
Asciano CEO John Mullen.
Asciano’s launch of its newly automated container terminal at Port Botany last week has raised questions as to whether it will now seek to leverage its automation expertise beyond Australia.

According to a report by World Cargo News, "Asciano is widely reported to have been in discussions with China Merchants recently over a partnership, which could include the Chinese port operator taking a stake in Asciano’s Australian port business. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Asciano CEO John Mullen revealed that Asciano is looking for a much wider partnership and ‘has the firepower’, in the form of a healthy balance sheet and its expertise with AutoStrad technology to expand beyond Australia."

The project has not been without its challenges. In February last year, most of the straddle carriers being supplied by Cargotec Corporation were damaged during stormy seas en route to Australia from Europe (Forkliftaction.com News #654).

According to CEO John Mullen, the new terminal, with four berths, 1,400 m of quay line, 45 automated straddle carriers and expanded capacity of 1.6 million TEUs per year, consolidates Patrick’s position as Australia’s leading stevedore.

"The newly automated Patrick Port Botany terminal is now one of the most sophisticated container terminals in the world, supporting Australia’s trade growth and positioning Patrick at the forefront of the industry by delivering substantial improvements in safety, efficiency and customer service."

He adds it enables the business to offer shipping lines a superior nationwide service, while also delivering a platform to grow and improve performance and returns over the terminal’s lifecycle.

The terminal features Australian robotic technology originally developed by Patrick in partnership with The Australian Centre of Field Robotics at the University of Sydney.

Around 45 new 65 T and 13 m high automated straddle (AutoStrad) carriers operate unmanned in the new terminal, picking up, carrying and placing 20 and 40 ft. shipping containers from trucks, to holding stacks, to ship-to-shore cranes and back with pinpoint accuracy. The automated straddles, late generation Kalmar three-high straddle carriers, move point-to-point along the fastest route, delivering economies of scale and a significantly lower cost of production.

The new terminal also features redeveloped associated infrastructure, including a 45 m high control tower with two levels of office space and staff amenities, upgraded workshop facilities, new pavements and roadways, 31 new truck grids with world-class in-gate processing systems and three new Liebherr ship-to-shore cranes with 25-30% greater productivity (Forkliftaction.com News #719).
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