In 2015, China’s Landbridge invested A$506 million to lease the Port of Darwin for 99 years. As part of this arrangement, it committed minimum additional growth investment expenditure of A$35 million over the first five years. The lease is a long-term commitment to Northern Australia, enabling two-way trade growth between Australia and Asia and a platform for further economic opportunities to the local Northern Territory (NT) community.

Work is under way at the port, and Landbridge has already completed an A$10 million upgrade of the port’s refrigerated container park, which will grow export capacity for food products. The upgrade supported local employment, with all contracts awarded to local NT companies, reflecting Landbridge’s plans to support local suppliers and businesses through its NT operations. It has provided over A$500,000 in community sponsorship in the first year, with a commitment to A$100,000 in ongoing community sponsorship each year following.

Landbridge is now working on longer term expansion of both East Arm and Fort Hill wharves to ensure port capacity maintains pace with expected trade growth.

Landbridge has improved the productivity in the port and introduced significant new port infrastructure investment. The NT Department of Trade, Business and Innovation Chief Executive Officer Shaun Drabsch believes the port investment is demonstration of confidence in the Territory economy and its strong relationship with China.

Landbridge's main businesses also expand beyond ports and include logistics, oil and gas, trade, manufacturing and tourism. It sees investment in the NT as an opportunity to bring its commercial networks in China and the NT together through future partnerships, including increasing inbound tourism to the region.

Concept drawing of proposed luxury hotel
Concept image of Westin Darwin Hotel
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Landbridge’s A$200 million investment to build the Westin Darwin is a commitment to develop Darwin’s waterfront and attract more visitors to Australia’s north. The hotel will be will be operated by Westin of the internationally-recognised Starwood Hotels and Resorts group.

The NT Treasurer said this Landbridge investment is set to boost the economy, act as a drawcard for increased high-end business and leisure visitors, and give Darwin a significant edge in the lucrative business conference market.

‘The development is expected to generate more than 500 jobs during the construction phase and hundreds of on-going jobs when it opens in 2022.’

Recent projects in the NT build on Landbridge’s existing investments in Australia. In 2014, Landbridge invested A$200 million in Australia’s oil and gas sector through its acquisition of Brisbane-based WestSide Corporation. Since the acquisition, Landbridge has invested another A$200 million in WestSide, expanding its Queensland based operations and supporting a significant number of jobs in regional Queensland where the operations are based. The investment helped the WestSide maintain and grow its Australian workforce.