Common User Facility to Diversify Pilbara’s Economic Profile

15 June 2011 FDI Team

Background

Anketell Port or Port Hedland’s Lumsden Point have been identified as the most appropriate potential sites for a marine-based Common User Facility (CUF), in a report released on 10 June.

Comment

The report, announced by Western Australian Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien and Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls, identifies the potential location and specifies the type of facility and infrastructure required to support the state’s existing and emerging industries.

Modelled on the Australian Marine Complex, south of Perth, the CUF will have a broad market focus, to promote a range of industries including oil and gas, resources, defence and construction. It could potentially include wharves, lifting lay down areas, load-out and maintenance facilities.

The Pilbara-based CUF would allow the region to capitalise on its economically strategic location and its existing commodities profile, and would stimulate economic diversification. According to Mr O’Brien:

‘Upcoming projects such as Gorgon, Wheatstone, Browse and Ichthys will require this infrastructure for subsea installation and ongoing inspection, maintenance and repair work for more than 30 years.  By investing in this common-use infrastructure, the State is encouraging the development of local industries to service these projects.’

The latest Royalties for Regions-inspired initiative is consistent with the Pilbara Cities vision to encourage economic and population growth in the region. A CUF would cut housing costs by providing necessary construction material and infrastructure in a cost-effective and productive manner. The marine facility would also provide greater employment opportunities, beyond the resources and hydrocarbon sectors, and promote sustainable communities. 

Liam McHugh

 

Strategic Analyst

FDI Northern Australia and Energy Security Research Programmes

[email protected]

 

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