Former Premier appointed to head
Cape Hardy port project, joint venture named Portalis 

Monday 7 December 2020

Former South Australian Premier and widely respected farming advocate Rob Kerin has been appointed Project Chair of the proposed $250 million Cape Hardy port project (Stage 1) on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. 


Mr Kerin is well known to the Eyre Peninsula through his roles as Chairman and Executive Officer of Regional Development South Australia and as the Chair of Primary Producers SA. Prior to serving as Premier, he also held the portfolios of Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Regional Development. 


The Cape Hardy port project will be the Eyre Peninsula’s only deep-water multi-commodity export port, supporting the region’s grain growers and opening significant opportunities for a wide range of agricultural and resources producers. With future capacity for Capesize vessels, Cape Hardy has the potential to be the only port of its kind between Esperance and Port Kembla, putting South Australia on an international footing. The project is being jointly developed by Eyre Peninsula Co-operative Bulk Handling (EPCBH), Iron Road and Macquarie Capital. Subject to a final investment decision being made, construction will commence in late 2021 and operations in 2023.


Mr Kerin’s appointment coincides with the launch of a new name for the joint venture – Portalis.  As the name given to Cape Hardy by French navigator Nicolas Baudin in 1802 (Cap Portalis), Portalis pays homage to a key aspect of the region’s rich history, which has long included a vision of Cape Hardy as the preferred site for export port facilities on the Eyre Peninsula.


Speaking from the Eyre Peninsula today, Mr Kerin said: “As a passionate supporter of the farming and grower community in South Australia, I believe the Cape Hardy port project will be transformational for both the Eyre Peninsula and the State.


“It will be a critical driver of competition and lower costs, which will put money back in the pockets of growers and contribute to improved competitiveness of our exports. As the only multi-commodity and multi-user deep-water port proposed for Eyre Peninsula, it will also unlock opportunities for economic development and diversification for the Eyre Peninsula and South Australia.


“The expertise and experience of the joint developers combines a deep understanding of the customers of a multi-commodity port with a world-class track record in delivering valuable and efficient infrastructure for local communities. 


“As Project Chair, I look forward to continuing the outstanding stakeholder engagement work that has been done so far as we build toward financial close.”


Mr Kerin will meet with growers at information sessions in towns and centres across the Eyre Peninsula in December and February. These meetings are a continuation of the support that EPCBH is providing its members as they learn more about the port project. 


Members of the local community are invited to the Tumby Bay Yacht Club on Tuesday afternoon (8 December 2020) for an Information Session about proposed amendments to the project’s Environmental Impact Statement. Members of the project team will be on hand to provide more information about the project and answer questions. 

Project media:
Michels Warren PR: Phil Martin (0418 817 876) and Myles Wallace (0432 866 094)