Darwin Ship Lift Facility

Under Procurement
Darwin Ship Lift Facility

The Darwin Ship Lift Facility will provide a site for maintenance and servicing of Defence and Australian Border Force vessels, as well as commercial and private vessels. It will be designed to provide services to the general maritime sector and the Federal Government's Department of Defence and Australian Border Force.

It will be commercially operated under a legislated open access regime and will be overseen by the NT Governments' Utilities Commission who will regulate pricing and access.

The facility will have:

  • a 103 metre long, 26 metre wide and six metre deep ship lift
  • a Self-Propelled Modular Transportation (SPMT) vessel transfer system
  • ability to lift vessels up to 5,000 tonnes
  • six wet berths
  • a vessel wash bay
  • 15 hectares of hard stand area for ship repair and maintenance, and
  • site utilities, security and ancillary facilities.

Key Dates

Aug 2020 EOIs Open
Sep 2020 EOIs Close
Nov 2020 RFP Open
Aug 2021 Expected preferred bidder selection
Oct 2022 Expected Construction Commencement
Dec 2024 Expected Construction Completion

Funding contributions

NT Government

The NT Government's $100 million contribution is contingent funding.


Debt Finance: Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility


Procuring Agency: Northern Territory Government.
Tenderers (EOI/ROI): The NT Government released EOIs.
Shortlist: The NT Government shortlisted Watpac Construction, McConnell Dowell Constructors, Clough Projects Australia, Sitzler and Territoria to move to the RFP phase.
Related contracts:
Engineering consultant
Successful Tenderer - SMEC.

Environmental consultant
Successful Tenderer - AECOM.

Legal adviser
Successful Tenderer - MinterEllison.

Operational advisor
Successful Tenderer - Paspaley Group.

Probity adviser
Successful Tenderer - Merit Partners.

Procurement advisor
Successful Tenderer - GHD.


Dec 2015 A Competitive tender process was conducted for the facility's operations and maintenance contract. Paspaley Group was awarded the contract.
Nov 2019 Finalisation of project development agreement with Paspaley Group that will include transfer of a block of the company's harbourside land to the NT Government.
Dec 2019 The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) confirmed that it will provide a $300 million loan towards building the Ship Lift Facility.
Aug 2020 EOIs were released for the Design and Construction contract, closing on 25 September 2020.
Nov 2020 The Federal and Northern Territory Governments reached contractual close on the $300 million concessional loan from NAIF. The Northern Territory Government also shortlisted Watpac Construction, McConnell Dowell Constructors, Clough Projects Australia, Sitzler and Territoria to move to the Request for Proposals phase.
May 2021 The Northern Territory Government released a Request for Tender seeking engineering entities to provide a range of services for a dual ECI style Detailed Design Development Phase, and potentially through to the Design and Construct phase of the project. Services include design and whole of life review, participation in design development workshops, and other engineering advisory services as required.
Nov 2021 The project's draft Environmental Impact Statement was submitted for assessment by the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority and placed on public exhibition, closing on 14 January 2022.
Estimated Total Cost
Other Transport
Procurement approach
Traditional Procurement |
Northern Territory |
Infrastructure Australia status
Not considered
Tender notices