Ports and Logistics

Chinese firm takes over Darwin port

The Port of Darwin in the far north of Australia has been leased for 99 years to Chinese privately held Landbridge Group for A$506m ($370m). Landbridge is a Chinese energy and infrastructure group.

Landbridge intends to develop the port both for cargo and cruise purposes, with the Chinese markert as the main target for business.

As part of the deal Landbridge have paid the full price for the lease, but only taken an 80% ownership stake. Within five years the Chinese company must find an Australian investor to purchase the other 20%, and until that time that stake will remain with the provincial government.

Landbridge said there would be no redundancies at the port until 2018 at least, something that did not appease locals, with a spokesperson for the Maritime Union of Australia telling local media: “The workers want assurances that their conditions are protected for the life of the lease and that jobs will not be contracted out.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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