Construction of a $15 million freight and cold-storage facility will start this week at the Darwin Airport; meaning that it will be much bigger than previously announced. NT Airports' director of property and operations, Ross Baynes, said the construction fences went up last Thursday and the civil works would start in the next few days.
"It's full steam ahead... and the facility has tripled in size," he told the NT Country Hour. "It was originally forecast to be around 2,000 square metres, we've now got a total facility of over 6,000 square metres."
Mr Baynes said the facility was expected to be completed by August next year, and would include a vapour heat treatment (VHT) plant that would create opportunities to export mangoes and other fresh produce to Asian markets. He said tripling the size of the facility was a decision made on expected demand for NT produce and when operational, it would hopefully trigger a number of opportunities for NT businesses.
"Instead of putting produce onto the back of trucks and sending it to Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, they can bring it to this facility and ship it out through Darwin, saving time and getting produce to market quicker," he told abc.net.au.