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BHP Billiton today signed agreements for the sale of its land and bulk handling business at Kwinana, Western Australia.

The contract for the sale of 207 hectares of land at Kwinana has been signed with two State Government agencies, the Western Australia Land Authority (Landcorp) and the Fremantle Port Authority (FPA), as tenants in common.

The FPA has also agreed to purchase the bulk handling business operated on the land by BHP Billiton's Transport and Logistics group.

The agreements are subject to a lease from Landcorp to HIsmelt coming into effect and final approval by the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Alannah MacTiernan. Subject to these conditions, the sale of both the land and business are expected to be completed in early 2002.

President BHP Billiton Transport and Logistics Bruce McGowan said the Group had decided to sell the land and bulk businesses, as they were no longer strategically necessary to the portfolio.

"We are very pleased to conclude these sale agreements with Landcorp and the FPA. This is an excellent outcome that will facilitate the continuing development of the port and region, and maintain BHP Billiton's ongoing relationships in Western Australia," Mr McGowan said.  

"The fact that the sale of the bulk business to the FPA will provide continuing seamless service for our customers and will offer ongoing employment for our workforce is extremely important."

Mr McGowan said the agreement between BHP Billiton and Landcorp also provided for ongoing access by BHP Steel's land logistics operations to the rail terminal on the site.  

"The agreement ensures Kwinana will continue to be an important link in BHP Steel's national land distribution network," he said.

The site at Kwinana was initially used for steel production by BHP almost 50 years ago.  More recently it has been developed for use by the group's transport and logistics business, and a range of other tenants who have established industrial operations on the site.

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