Cairns fuel operators have a chance to break into the Defence market with a request for tenders to operate a navy fuel site.

A call for proposals to commercialise the HMAS Cairns fuel installation was released by the department at the end of August.

“Defence is seeking a commercial arrangement with industry for the provision of marine diesel fuel supply and services in support of Defence assets in Cairns,” a Defence spokesman said.

“Under this arrangement, Defence will lease the HMAS Cairns fuel facility to a commercial entity.

“The lease will include the operation and maintenance of the facility, and an arrangement for the provision of fuel back to Defence.”

An industry briefing was held at the base last month but proposals will be accepted until midday on October 12.

The tender has been pitched as a cost-saving measure for Defence, while giving local industry “opportunity to grow their business”.

The spokesman said the facility would be managed in line with commercial practice. “This collaborative approach will benefit Defence by ensuring commercial fuel industry standards and best practices are introduced, operational needs of the Royal Australian Navy for fuel at HMAS Cairns are met and net annual operating savings are delivered to Defence,” the spokesman said.

The site is currently run by two Defence employees.

“These employees have been consulted regarding the probable changes and will continue to be supported throughout any formal change process,” the spokesman said.

The call for tenders will be followed by the release of a shortlist later this year, with new operators to be phased in by mid 2019.

“A subsequent request for tender is planned for release to short-listed industry partners in November 2018, with a phase-in of new arrangements to occur by July 2019,” the spokesman said.

Go to to see the proposal request

Extracted from Cairns Post