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Qube project to fundamentally transform supply chain

Moorebank Logistics Park, Australia’s largest intermodal precinct, continues to make headlines with yet another multi-million funding boost.

Freight and logistics company, Qube, which is developing the project, has secured $150 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) under the premise of increasing the use of rail networks to distribute containerised freight to and from Port Botany.

According to CEFC, the project is expected to reduce freight truck emissions by switching the movement of 1.55 million freight containers at Port Botany from road to rail, with an estimated annual abatement of more than 110,000 tonnes of CO₂.

As such, it is expected to reduce the distance travelled by container trucks on Sydney’s road network by 150,000km every day, and 93,000km per day for long distance interstate freight trucks.

Locally in Sydney, it will cut an estimated 3,000 truck journeys a day from Sydney’s road network, particularly the M5, according to CEFC.

“Emissions from road freight transport are a substantial part of our carbon emissions challenge. By switching to rail solutions, the Moorebank project will reduce emissions, reduce urban congestion and improve national freight connectivity for years to come,” said CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth.

Learmonth added that despite its massive scale – operating across a site the size of Sydney’s CBD – the freight and energy efficiencies delivered via the Moorebank Logistics Park are expected to result in net emission reductions totalling more than two million tonnes of CO₂ over a 40-year period.

However, this net reduction takes into account construction emissions, embodied energy within building materials, offsite transportation, operational emissions and savings from the onsite use of renewable energy. It does not factor in inevitable advances in technology over that 40-year period – for example the imminent introduction of Euro VI engine technology.

Still, Qube Holdings’ Managing Director, Maurice James, said the Moorebank Logistics Park would transform the containerised freight supply chain in Sydney and deliver significant community-wide benefits.

“Our focus at Qube has always been on how we can improve the efficiency of the import and export supply chain, how we can provide a faster and more cost-effective way to get goods to consumers and the Moorebank terminal is certainly a key part of that strategy,” he said.

“Being able to deliver a faster and more reliable supply chain that creates savings for our customers, as well as remove thousands of truck trips from our roads at the same time as delivering very significant environmental benefits is a great trifecta.”

The Moorebank Logistics Park will be developed across 243 hectares in south-western Sydney, taking advantage of its location near the Southern Sydney Freight Line, M5 and M7 motorways and in an area of rapid population and economic growth.

It is expected to deliver “significant job creation”, with the precinct employing as many as 6,800 people when operating at full capacity and over 1,300 jobs to be created during the construction phases.

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