Interest sought in plans for doubling of Newcastle exports


Coal producers invited to take part in work set to double the loading capacity of the Port of Newcastle

Coal producers have been invited to take part in work set to double the loading capacity of the Port of Newcastle.

Letters have been sent to producers seeking interest in stage two of the expansion of the terminal owned by the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG), which will add another 30 million tonnes of coal loading capacity.

The first stage of the expansion is more than halfway completed with the first shipments to begin in the first half of next year.

Ports Minister Joe Tripodi says the expansion will "secure Newcastle’s crown as the world’s largest coal export port".

"The call for expressions of interest is an important first step towards providing a further 30 million tonnes of capacity at the NCIG terminal," he says.

"It will help NCIG to make a decision on Stage 2 based on demand requests from Hunter Valley coal producers and potential new players in the industry."

Under the Hunter Coal Plan submitted to the ACCC in June, NCIG is required to offer 12 million tonnes of capacity to producers and new entrants who are not members of the NCIG consortium.

"Producers who are not part of the NCIG consortium will have the opportunity to request capacity in this expansion project," Tripodi says.

"It will also be an opportunity for new producers such as Chinese coal mining company Shen hua to participate."

In June coal supply chain partners in the Hunter Valley
struck a long-awaited agreement to sure up coal producing contracts and reduce loading queues.

A "comprehensive industry agreement" has been signed and lodged with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which is expected to decide on the application by the end of July.

The plan includes an opportunity for Port Waratah Coal Services to lease additional government land and build a fourth coal terminal on Kooragang Island, in addition to expansion currently underway which will increase capacity at that terminal to 117 million tonnes per annum.

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