Department of the Legislative Assembly, Northern Territory Government

East Arm Port Utilisation


10th Assembly


127. East Arm Port Utilisation

Ms Carney to MINISTER for Infrastructure and Transport

East Arm Port Utilisation

1. Given a recent Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics Report on Australian Sea Freight statistics that shows Darwin Port (No 39) rated between Useless Loop WA (No 38 @ 1.117 Million tonnes) and Port Bonython SA (No 40 @ 1.083 million tonnes), what has the minister been able to achieve in attracting further utilization of the East Arm Port facility.


Answered on 20/10/2005

The BTRE figures are not a true reflection of the total freight task for Darwin as they only report the publicly available statistics of trade across DPC facilities. The statistics do not include the private port operations (Perkins), as they do not supply their trade data. The real total freight task for the Port of Darwin for the last financial year 2004-05 was possibly closer to 2 million tonnes.

The Port of Darwin is a multi-user, multipurpose, multi-trade port.

The port services a multitude of market sectors including the livestock export trade, offshore oil and gas industry, container and general cargo trade, domestic shipping and petroleum product imports.

The total freight task for DPC facilities in 2004-05 was in excess of 1.7m tonnes.

The NTG has recently completed the stage 2 extension of the East Arm Wharf providing intermodal facilities for the AustralAsia Railway, a 110m extension of the general cargo berth and a further 154m extension for the new bulk liquids berth for a total linear berth length of 754m.

The NTG has also provided $10.4m in funding to construct a pipeline corridor from the bulk liquids berth to the new Vopak - Darwin Industry Fuel Terminal. This is proving a catalyst for an increase in the import and distribution of domestic petroleum products and the attraction of further bulk liquids industry development including the Natural Fuels Australia - BioDiesel plant. The plant will import 150,000 tonne per annum of feedstock and export refined product through the new facilities at East Arm.

The NTG has also provided funding to establish new bulk mineral loading facilities at East Arm. The facilities will provide mines the ability to export bulk commodities through the East Arm facility. The first exports of manganese ore from Bootu Creek will go out through an interim loading facility in January 2006 with the ultimate facility being delivered in September 2006.
It will be a modern 2,000TPH travelling gantry shiploader. It is anticipated further mineral exports will come on line and a possible trade of 2.5m tonnes per annum will evolve.

The East Arm facility was utilised extensively during the construction phase of the Darwin LNG plant and the 500km sub-sea gas pipeline. In excess of 180,000 tonne of project cargo transited the facility on the way to the Darwin LNG site and 600,000 tonne of armour rock for the gas pipeline was stockpiled on the facility and loaded out over 12 months to cover the pipeline in the harbour. The NTG reclaimed a significant area of strategic port area to facilitate this development.

Further infrastructure and operational improvements have been made to facilitate the live cattle export trade and the treatment and clearance of containers through the Quarantine and Customs process. Also improvements in port security have been made to ensure the Port of Darwin meets the International Ships and Ports Security Code and is seen as a complying port for international trade.

The NTG has encouraged the extension of existing shipping services through fee relief and also facilitated a number of trial shipments from North Asia and S.E.Asian ports. Expanded shipping services is one of the primary objectives of the "Growing Our Trade Route" strategy.
Last updated: 04 Aug 2016