UPDATE 10.25am Asciano will axe 270 jobs and build a more automated workplace as it completes a $348 million expansion of its container terminal at Port Botany in Sydney.
Asciano said today that the expansion project would increase capacity at the port from 1.15 million to 1.6 million TEU (20 foot equivalent units) per annum to meet current trade growth forecasts.
But, once the project is complete in mid 2014, Asciano will make about 270 jobs at the port redundant.
Asciano says the expansion project will transform the facility into a world-class automated and internationally competitive operation with four berths and 1.4 kilometres of quay line.
“The redevelopment includes converting the terminal to an automated straddle carrier terminal,” Asciano said in a statement.
Chief executive John Mullen said employees affected by the job cuts would be provided with employee assistance and support programs including training, financial planning and career transition assistance.
“All of our employees will also have access to additional incentive payments conditional upon maintaining appropriate levels of performance,” he said.
Asciano, which owns the Patrick’s stevedore business, said the upgrade of the Port Botany facility would include the introduction of state-of-the-art terminal handling technology, extra cranes and upgraded employee facilities.
Mr Mullen said the port expansion project would deliver productivity improvements, including significant cost savings, and secure Patrick’s tenure at Port Botany until at least 2043.
“Further redevelopment of the terminal will be carried out under a staged approach as volumes grow over the next three decades,” he said.
The introduction of automatic stacking cranes could increase capacity at the terminal beyond 2014 by an additional 75 per cent a year, Mr Mullen said.
“This flexibility ensures the company can meet not only its long-term business objectives but also the growth expectations for trade in NSW and beyond in a cost-effective way,” he said.
Asciano employees were being briefed by management at Port Botany this morning, a spokesman for the Maritime Union of Australia said.