Expansion of Abbot Point coal port 'on track'

Expansion of Abbot Point coal port to increase export capacity on track to be completed by the end of June

The expansion of the Abbot Point coal port to increase export capacity is on track to be completed by the end of June, the Queensland Government says.

Construction will see export capacity increase from 21 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 25 Mtpa. A second phase of expansion will double this to 50 Mtpa by 2011.

Transport Minister John Mickel says the expansion secures Queensland as the world's largest exporter of seabourne coal.

"Recent forecasts by the Queensland Resources Council suggest that there will be a total demand of up to 235 million tonnes by 2010 and Abbot Point will be well positioned to support future demands," he says.

The Ports Corporation of Queensland (PCQ) expansion at Abbot Point comprises three projects totalling about $1 billion.

The expansion includes the construction of a second berth located 2.9km off-shore that will involve the installation of about 9,500 tonnes of structural steel and a 2.9km conveyor along the jetty to transport the coal from the stockyard to the ships.

Also under construction is a new shiploader which will allow a ship to be loaded with coal at a peak rate of 7,200 tonnes per hour.

Over 120 workers will be employed during the construction of the project, and up to 500 workers during the second phase.

To accommodate the workforce required to expand the Port facilities, PCQ has built an accommodation village in Merinda.

"It has been a priority of PCQ to ensure that the current housing and tourism industries in Bowen are not impacted by the accommodation requirement of the Abbot Point expansion program of works," Mickel says.

PCQ is also committed to employing locally and contracting local business. Currently 40 percent of staff working on the project is from the local community.

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