Preliminary works are underway to build the Northern Territory’s largest fuel storage facility in Darwin, with construction slated to begin shortly.
The facility will be located at East Arm, at the Land Development Corporation’s Bulk Liquids Area, and will hold up to 300 million litres of fuel.
“This investment opportunity will create hundreds of jobs for Territorians just a short drive from the CBD and Palmerston, and local businesses will also feel the flow-on benefits," Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
The $270 million project will play a pivotal role in servicing US defence operations in the region, with the infrastructure used for the transfer, management and storage of military specification jet fuels.
In September, the US Government awarded the tender to provide fuel storage and management services in support of the U.S. military to Crowley, a U.S. based company with global energy and logistics services.
In December, the Land Development Corporation and Crowley Australia reached an agreement on the land and signed a long term lease.
Crowley Australia, the Australia-based Crowley subsidiary, will manage the development and subsequent ongoing operations of the $270 million facility.
“Crowley is excited to see work on the fuel storage facility in Darwin begin. We appreciate the dedication of our team and collaboration from all stakeholders including the NT Government," Crowley Solutions Vice President Sean Thomas said. “These collective efforts will allow Crowley to provide important fuel storage and management services to the U.S. military, as well as strengthen our growing presence within Australia and the Northern Territory.”
Saunders International has been awarded a $140 million contract by Crowley for the design and construction of 11 jet fuel tanks for the facility. In addition to the design and construction contract Saunders will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management services to Crowley.
Initial works being carried out on site include early clearing of the site, and developing vehicle access ahead of construction beginning.
“The groundworks underway herald the start of construction of the new facility and provide an exciting look ahead for site activity for the new year," Land Development Corporation CEO Tony Stubbin said. “LDC looks forward to seeing Crowley’s 300 million litre fuel facility at the Bulk Liquids Area in East Arm to support strategic fuel storage and the US-Australian defence alliance.”
This follows the project having been granted approval from the NT Environmental Protection Authority and a Development Permit for construction.
The project will create around 400 jobs during construction and support an additional 20 employees once the facility is operational late next year.