The newly built Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) at Webb Dock East in the Port of Melbourne, Australia, was recently named Smart Infrastructure Project of the year.
The judging panel recognized the $400 million project for the significance and role of automation at Australia’s largest container port, improving operational capacity and efficiency, as well as the port’s ability to service larger capacity vessels.
A subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), VICT opened for business in January. ICTSI signed an agreement with the Port of Melbourne Corporation in 2014 for the design, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance and financing of VICT. The automated terminal is the first of its kind in the ICTSI Group, and is the most advanced in Australia in terms of the level of automation.
Phase 1 of the Terminal, completed on December 31, 2016, and has one berth of 330 meters fitted with three Neo-Panamax robotic ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, 23.7 hectares of yard and off-dock area with fully automated operations from the gate to the quayside to deliver an estimated capacity of 350,000 standard containers.
Phase 2 delivers an additional two Neo-Panamax robotic STS cranes, increasing the capacity of the terminal to one million standard containers.
When fully developed and as required by volume growth, the 35.4-hectare Terminal will have a total of eight Neo-Panamax robotic STS cranes, and will be able to handle up to 1.8 million standard containers annually. VICT's location, downstream from the West Gate Bridge, and operational configuration will allow the Terminal to handle vessels with a capacity of 8,000 to 12,500 standard containers.
Anders Dømmestrup, VICT Chief Executive Officer, said: “VICT, one of the most technologically advanced container terminals in the world, brings the future of container terminal operations to Australia. While still in the early stages of operation, the results and consistent improvement have been very promising, especially considering the challenges of ramping up productivity at automated terminals. Moving forward, we are very confident that we will be able to achieve our target efficiency levels, which is the focal point of this whole project.”
Organized by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, an independent organization focused on excellence in social and economic infrastructure, the annual National Infrastructure Awards recognizes excellence in public administration and business across major projects.
The Port of Melbourne project won against five other finalists from Australia and New Zealand, which included Sydney Airport Integrated Operations Centre, Sydney; The Mega Train Project, Newcastle; and UBERZones, Melbourne.
The Port of Melbourne is the largest container and general cargo port in Australia with a capacity of 2.6 million TEUs.