Plan unveiled for $5.4b investment in coal transport

By: Troy Bilsborough


The Queensland Government has developed a plan for coal transport infrastructure worth $5.4 billion. Transport Minister John Mickel says the

The Queensland Government has developed a plan for coal transport infrastructure worth $5.4 billion.

Transport Minister John Mickel says the multi-billion dollar program of projects would encompass the smooth transportation of coal from mine to port.

"The Coal Transport Infrastructure Program sets forth the Queensland Government's plans for major coal transport infrastructure development in Queensland to 2015 and beyond," says Mickel.

"It's a key component within a broader $15 billion coal infrastructure program of actions initiated in 2005. It will identify the best options to deliver that infrastructure, and ensure our export supply chain is operating with maximum efficiency."

By late last year the state government had already invested about $4.4 billion to expand the State's coal transport infrastructure, with $2.9 billion of that being spent by QR and port government-owned corporations.

Some of the major planned developments incl ude new rail links in the northern Bowen and Surat Basins. Major port expansions include the Abbot Point expansion to at least 50 million tonnes per annum and up to 100 million tonnes per annum; and a new Wiggins Island Coal Terminal in Gladstone, providing potentially 85 million tonnes per annum of new capacity.

Coal is Queensland's single most important mineral export commodity, worth more than $20 billion a year. The state exported about 153 million tonnes of coal exports last financial year - more than double (59 million tonnes) what was being exported less than 20 years ago.

Based on current demand, Queensland coal exports are projected to grow by approximately 42 percent by 2010 and by a further 40 percent by 2015. Forecasts for the next five years remain strong, particularly to markets in China, South-East Asia, India, Japan and Brazil.

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