Utah Point slated for sale

IN AN attempt to regain its triple-A credit rating, the Western Australian government is planning to sell the Utah Point bulk handling facility in Port Hedland.
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Utah Point multi-user bulk export facility

Kristie Batten

The government identified Utah Point, the Kwinana Bulk Terminal and shopping centre Market City as priority assets under the first tranche of sales aimed at reducing borrowings.

“The three assets are expected to generate between $A1 billion and $2 billion,” WA Premier Colin Barnett said.

“These assets are better placed in the private sector. They are likely to be better run by the private sector.”

Utah Point is one of four berths owned by the Pilbara Ports Authority and includes a shiploader, two stockyard product storage facilities and supporting infrastructure, which generated revenue of $86.5 million in the 2013 financial year.

Atlas Iron is the major user of the facility and the completion of its new stockyard earlier this year expanded capacity to 20 million tonnes per annum.

Last month the facility achieved a milestone, shipping its 50 millionth tonne since opening in 2010.

The Kwinana Bulk Terminal is owned by Fremantle Port Authority and handles bulk products including coal, iron ore, liquefied petroleum gas, cement clinker, gypsum, nut coke and slag.

Revenue in FY13 was $61.6 million from throughput of 5.2Mt.

“The port assets are likely to be sold as a long-term lease,” Barnett said.

The government will invite bidders to submit expressions of interest before shortlisting preferred parties.

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