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Infrastructures are major contributors to carbon emission, but Qube Holdings is looking to challenge that by launching the largest freight infrastructure project in Australia.
To help Qube achieve its carbon reduction target, Arcadis delivered a comprehensive sustainability plan to guide the project’s development and operation.
Moorebank Logistics Park will help Australia reduce its transport-related emissions by shifting freight transportation from roads to rails.
of CO2 emissions cut per year
of warehousing and distribution facilities
of financing from Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Infrastructure assets are a critical piece of modern communities. Without them, we won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of having access to services like transportation, energy and communication. The problem is building and operating these assets are major contributors to carbon emissions.
Qube Holdings, an Australian freight and logistics company, recognized that decarbonizing infrastructure assets is difficult but not impossible. To build its Moorebank Logistics Park (MLP), an infrastructure development designed to revolutionize the transport and handling of freight, Qube worked with Arcadis to develop a holistic approach in reducing the project’s carbon footprint from construction to operation.
With a total area the size of Sydney’s central business district, the MLP project included the design and development of over 30ha of warehousing and distribution facilities and upgrade to approximately 1.5km of Moorebank Avenue. The client wanted to better understand the environmental considerations in developing the intermodal terminal, so we conducted strategic environmental assessment and planning. From our initial task, the scope of our work expanded to include wider sustainability, detailed design, flood and traffic modeling, and eventually led us to assume the Owners Engineer role.
Our team also helped the client find ways to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) in the construction and operation of the MLP precinct by first quantifying GHG emissions from electricity and fuel use. We then identified solutions such as using electric instead of diesel forklifts and installing a 60MW solar farm on the roof to minimize fuel and electricity consumption.
Communicating complex engineering and construction requirements has also been a challenge during the project’s delivery. This led our team to create a GIS web portal to serve as a centralized repository for project information and use a virtual 3D time lapse of the construction program to help all parties review critical stages of development using a web browser, a virtual reality headset or iPad.
With a comprehensive carbon reduction plan in place, Qube was able to prove that infrastructure assets can continue to serve the needs of communities while minimising their carbon footprints. The company was also able secure $150 million of funding from Clean Energy Finance Corporation that will be used to implement several sustainability measures by 2030 when MLP is at full capacity.
The project is a significant milestone in Australia’s emission reduction history. From the sustainability features in its warehouse, MLP will also change the way freight is transported by eliminating the need for emission-intensive trucks and shifting to the use of a rail network. This change is expected to reduce transport-related emissions by 110,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year and result in less congestions on the road and improved safety for road users.
In addition to the positive environmental outcomes, Arcadis’ pioneering approach in digital engineering and innovation has set new industry benchmarks and will further evolve into a best-practice planning approach in project design.