Funds locked in for Ship Lift

The largest ship lift in Northern Australia will be built in Darwin. Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan have confirmed the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is making an Investment Decision of $300 million funding towards the East Arm project.

The ship lift will bring $260 million into the NT economy every year and generate 400 direct and indirect ongoing jobs during operation through the expansion of the ship building and repairs and maintenance industry. There will be 100 jobs during construction.

The 103m ship lift will be capable of servicing large vessels from industries including offshore petroleum, fishing, pearling, Defence and Border Force.

The $300 million NAIF loan will be made to the Northern Territory Treasury Corporation with the Territory Labor Government contributing the remaining $100 million to the project.

A Northern Territory Government ship lift team is up and running with project implementation well underway, overseen by the ship lift project team Executive Director who reports to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation CEO.

Ship lift works are due to be announced soon with:

  • The engineering consultancy tender first to be awarded by the end of 2019;
  • Followed by a competitive construction tender process in June 2020;
  • Construction works to commence in 2021- anticipated to take two years;
  • Ship lift facility operational in 2023.

Darwin is the only functional deep water harbour in Northern Australia. Currently large vessels travel 10 days to be serviced in another town.

The in-principle agreement between the Northern Territory Government and Paspaley will result in the ship lift constructed on Government-owned land, operated by Paspaley under a 10-year renewable agreement.

Ship lift