Darwin Ship Lift Project

Project update

Public comment is invited on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, which is now available on the NT Environment Protection Authority website.  Interested persons and organisations are invited to make written comments to the NT EPA by 14 January 2022.

Written submissions can be made through the NTEPA website, or posted to Environmental Assessments, Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority, GPO Box 3675, Darwin NT 0801.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Referral for the project has been submitted with invitation for public comment now closed. You can still view the referral via the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.

The NT Government is building the largest ship lift in Northern Australia. The Darwin Ship Lift Facility will enable the maintenance and servicing of Defence and Australian Border Force vessels, along with commercial and private vessels, including from the oil, gas and marine industries.

The Darwin Ship Lift Facility will be designed to meet the needs of the general maritime sector and the current and long-term needs of the Department of Defence and the Australian Border Force, while supporting local jobs and economic growth in the Territory.

Once operational the facility will be a catalyst for the development of a marine maintenance and servicing industry, and the creation of many new jobs.

The common user ship lift facility will include:

  • a ship lift 26m wide, 103m long and 6m deep
  • lifting capability of 5,000 tonnes
  • wet berths (wharves)
  • additional hard stand area for ship repair and maintenance works.

The ship lift will have the capacity to lift vessels such as the new fleet of offshore patrol vessels procured by the Australian Defence Force.

The Darwin Ship Lift Facility will be a common user facility, which will enable vessel owners to choose and manage their own service and maintenance providers. This will also enable multiple providers to operate concurrently at the facility.

The ship lift is a common user facility that will operate on a commercial basis. There will be a legislated open access regime to ensure fair and equal use for all customers. Pricing and access will be overseen by the independent Utilities Commission. Construction is anticipated to take two years, becoming operational in 2024.

Procurement for the design and construction for the facility commenced in August 2020 with a call for expressions of interest (EOI). The EOI stage is complete and the following respondents will be invited to participate in the request for proposals (RFP) stage:

  • Clough Projects Australia Pty Ltd
  • McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd
  • Sitzler Pty Ltd
  • Territoria Civil, and
  • Watpac Construction Pty Ltd.

The RFP stage will involve more detailed assessment to further shortlist the respondents to proceed to the final detailed design stage.

Contact details for the shortlisted respondents in the RFP stage are available on the ICN NT Gateway project page. Suppliers are encouraged to register their interest via the ICN NT database to receive updates / notifications on upcoming activities for the project. To register your interest, go to the ICN NT Gateway.

For general enquiries regarding the project email shiplift@nt.gov.au.

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Last updated: 15 November 2021

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