Port of Newcastle expansion projects increase capacity
A $25 million berth at the Port of Newcastle was officially
opened in May this year by the NSW Ports and Waterways
Minister, Paul McLeay.
A deep-water multipurpose berth, the 265m-long Mayfield
No.4 Berth is located on the former BHP steel works site. The
site has significant capacity for a range of freight, general
industrial and commercial uses including 35 hectares for a future
container terminal.
“The NSW government is committed to planning for the
future. The development of 90 hectares of prime river-front
land, which was formally occupied by the BHP steelworks, is an
important part of the future and diversification of the port,”
McLeay said
Mayfield No.4 Berth is the newest addition to the growing
trade related infrastructure in the Port of Newcastle and is ideal
to handle breakbulk, project and containerized cargo.
The new berth has been undergoing a rigorous
commissioning phase over the past few months with a variety of
ships importing and exporting bulk cargoes, heavy machinery and
project cargo.
The port’s growth and continued investment in infrastructure
was demonstrated by the arrival of two new tugs for the port to
officially open the new berth.
The tugs are part of a $22.7 million expansion of the
SVITZER Newcastle operations to cater for continued growth in
trade through the port.
The arrival of the two 500-tonne/30-metre M-class tugs,
SVITZER Maitland and SVITZER Myall, bring the total number of
tugs operating in the port to eight.
With coal exports expected to double in the next five years
and continued diversification of the port’s trade portfolio, the
tugs are welcome arrival to the Port of Newcastle.
 The berth is 265m in length and 12.8 m deep with 10,000m2
of hardstand for cargo handling, storage or use as an assembly
area designed for mobile or rail mounted ship-to-shore
cranes and heavy forklift axle loads;
  Open and uncongested access for new or existing trade
  Capability to service container trade via geared vessels; and
 The new berth was constructed on time and on budget by
BMD Constructions Pty Ltd which was selected
in a competitive tendering process.
  Headquartered in Denmark, SVITZER operates
in 35 countries (and most Australian major
ports), under the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group
  It provides harbour and ocean towage
services, lines (mooring) services and maritime
emergency response and salvage services (e.g.
The Pasha Bulker re-float in June 2007).
  It operates 600 vessels globally and employs 6,000 people

Just six years after the consortium was formed, three years after
planning approval, expenditure of more than $1-billion and more
than four million hours of determined effort, Newcastle’s third
coal export terminal, owned by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure
Group (NCIG) was officially opened for business on the 3rd May
this year.
NCIG Chairman Tony Galligan said the NCIG board hoped
that arrangements for further expansion of the terminal would
soon be finalised, keeping the construction workforce of around
800 busy for at least the next two to three years.
“Stage Two will double the capability of Stage One, adding
more than $600-million a year to State revenue through
royalties and attract extra investment of more than $1 billion to
New South Wales” he said.
Terminal general manager Paul Beale gave the order to begin
the loading of the bulk carrier Global Splendour with coal from
the Wambo mine operated by Peabody
Energy Australia which is bound for Japan.
NCIG shareholders are expanding existing mines, have new mines starting
production, in construction, or awaiting approval.
NCIG was formed in 2004 to address capacity issues for regional coal
Following submission of an EOI to the New South Wales Government, NCIG
won right to construct and operate a third loader in the port.
The proposed coal terminal was approved in April 2007.
While this approval is for a coal terminal with a capacity of
up to 66mt (million tonnes) per annum, NCIG is developing the
terminal in stages. Construction of Stage One, with capacity up
to 30mt a year, began in October 2007 and has cost over
$1 billion. The NCIG board is considering further expansion of
the facility because of continued strong export demand, and the
long-term certainty provided by the Port Access Agreement
which came into effect on 1 January 2010.
The members of the NCIG consortium are all significant coal
producers who have large coal reserves and projects to
materially increase their aggregate coal production.
Shareholders in project include BHP Billiton (through Hunter
Valley Energy Coal), Centennial Coal, Donaldson Coal, Peabody
Energy, Felix Resources (Yanzhou Coal) and Whitehaven Coal.
The project has included dredging of the south arm of the
Hunter River for shipping channels and berths, construction of a
rail loop, dump station, stockyards, stacker-reclaimers and wharf
facilities on the 136-hectare site.
QMASTOR awarded major contract to improve management of the HVCCC
Australian-listed QMASTOR Limited announced in early June
that it had signed a major contract with Hunter Valley Coal
Chain Coordinator Limited (HVCCC). The contract is for the
provision and support of QMASTOR’s Horizon Advanced
Planning and Scheduling software for the Hunter Valley Coal
The agreement is expected to provide in excess of $5 million
of revenue over five years. The Horizon system will play a key
role in the planning and scheduling of coal through the
Hunter Valley Coal Chain. This includes the planning and
scheduling of:
  • coal movements from approximately 35 coal producers in theHunter Valley;
  • rail movements from more than 27 load points in the Hunter Valley; and
  • the movement and loading of more than 1,000 coal vessels per year from two coal terminals with another under construction.
A key component of the systems function is to facilitate
management of the Newcastle coal vessel queue.
Managing director Trent Bagnall said “This is a major project
for QMASTOR, in terms of impact and strategic significance to
our customers’ supply chain. It is one of the most important
projects QMASTOR has undertaken to date and represents
significant exposure for our products and for QMASTOR
globally. It is the type of project that QMASTOR wants to be
involved with and allows us to showcase our products and
capabilities for a high-profile client.
“QMASTOR was competing for the contract against
competitors from around the world. The awarding of this
contract to QMASTOR re-affirms QMASTOR as world leading
provider of systems to the globally mining and port sectors
globally. Our systems provide real value for our clients and can
be applied to globally significant operations such as this one for
the Australian coal Industry.”
The Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator (HVCCC) is at the
heart of the Hunter’s Coal Industry with the pivotal role of
planning and co-ordinating the co-operative daily operation and
long term capacity alignment of the coal chain to meet the
collective needs and contractual obligations of producers and
service providers.
Streamlining this massive operation involves intensive ‘end to
end’ coal chain planning, scheduling and coordination
encompassing some 1,000km of rail track, over 18,000 annual
train deliveries, 35 coal mines, the berthing and loading of more
than 1,200 export vessels and the handling of 80 different coal
blends for annual coal exports worth in excess of $10 billion
with a forecast growth of 50% over the next two to three years.
QMASTOR Limited is a provider of specialist management
information systems and services to the global mining, port,
power generation and other bulk commodity industries.
QMASTOR has pioneered innovative solutions to empower
clients to improve their operations and maximize profit through
the efficient use of resources across the supply chain.
NQBP’s growing strength continues
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation Limited (NQBP), has
not only grown during the global financial crisis, but has assisted
in securing Australia’s current strong position.
NQBP’s chief executive officer Brad Fish said trade volumes
were continuing to rise, with coal exports for the first six
months from the terminals at Abbot Point and Dalrymple Bay
running at record levels.
Abbot Point, Australia’s most northerly coal port, has reached
a monthly throughput of more than 1.5mt (million tonnes) four
times during the current financial year, hitting a record peak of
1.75mt in December. Abbot Point’s throughput total for
2009/2010 has already surpassed the 2007/08 total of 12.5mt,
and is fast approaching last year’s total of 14.4mt.
Dalrymple Bay, one of two coal export terminals located
40km south of Mackay, has reached a record monthly throughput
of more than 6mt twice since July 2009.
“This excellent result not only shows these ports are
performing strongly, but provides a promising sign for future
demand,” Fish said. “Despite difficult economic times, there has
been no direct negative impact on port figures.
“If anything, our ports have grown in strength and show every
indication of continuing that trend.”
NQBP manages the sea ports of Abbot Point, Hay Point,
Weipa, Mackay and Maryborough. The corporation was
established on 1 July 2009, under the Transport Infrastructure
Act 1994 following the 2008 Queensland Government Review of
the Queensland Port Network Structure.
Fish says NQBP’s formation at a difficult juncture in global
economic times initially may have slowed future expansion, but
gave the new corporation the breathing space to liaise with its
customers, research and go forward with thoroughly planned
He said NQBP had continued to pursue major projects based
on the confidence of the industry.
“Recent discussions and workings with our various
customers shows increasing optimism in global markets,” Fish
said. “Customers are generally wishing to secure available port
capacity early in the project planning cycle.”
NQBP’s growing strength continues
At NQBP’s formation, the strategically significant port of
Abbot Point was partway through the significant expansion
project known as X50 to increase export capacity from
21Mtpa (million tonnes per annum) to 50Mtpa. Fish said
changes to management had not slowed the project’s progress,
and X50 was continuing to be constructed to a high standard
within budget and timeframes.
In the short time since NQBP was formed, proposals to
increase Abbot Point’s capacity further to 80Mtpa and then
110Mtpa have been announced.
NQBP recently announced ‘Preferred Developer’ status had
been awarded to BHP Billiton and Hancock Coal Pty Ltd for
the two future major expansions at the Port of Abbot Point.
NQBP chairman of the board, Leonie Taylor said the
Queensland Government had endorsed proposals from BHP
Billiton and Hancock Coal to build two new coal terminals at
Abbot Point to export an estimated 150mt of coal per annum
with the potential to increase capacity.
“It is our intent that a proposed Multi-Cargo Facility (MCF)
provide the offshore facilities in order to minimize impact on the
environment and maximize the area available for throughput,”
said Taylor.
“Both BHP Billiton and Hancock Coal have expressed
interest in working with NQBP in optimizing the area to
increase capacity from 30mtpa to 50mtpa for BHP Billiton and
from 30mtpa to 60mtpa for Hancock Coal. This of course,
would be subject to investigations and approvals.
“The Port of Abbot Point is situated next to the State
Development Area offering enormous potential for industry
growth and is a strategic port positioned to respond to industry
demand,” she said.
The government intends to offer a 99-year lease over this
existing Abbot Point Coal Terminal with the sale process to
commence in late 2010.
The proposed BHP coal terminal will be fed by Queensland
Rail’s coal rail system.
The Hancock Coal proposal is a comprehensive mine to port
proposal which includes a purpose-built rail line from the Galilee
Coal Basin to its coal terminal at the Port of Abbot Point.
“There will be significant upfront capital investment to build
the terminals and associated rail infrastructure, increased mining
royalties for the State and both direct and indirect job creation
from mine to port,” said Taylor.
Fish said the announcement, and the exciting proposals for
North Queensland ports, were leading the way for NQBP’s
ideals for the future.
“Over the next five years, we aim to continue as a leader in
the provision and facilitation of bulk port infrastructure to place
Queensland’s export industries in a strong position globally,” he
Port of Port Hedland innovation helps
deliver state-of-the-art berth facility
For the eleven months to date, Port of Port Hedland recorded
throughput of 163mt (million tonnes) and iron ore trade
through the port continues to dominate, writes Andre Bush, chief
executive officer of Port Hedland Port Authority.
A number of infrastructure projects are underway in the Port
Hedland Inner Harbour to accommodate the growth in iron ore
trade, including the Port Hedland Port Authority’s Utah Point
multi-user bulk mineral export berth.
Port Hedland Port’s trade by tonnage is 97% iron ore, with
the balance comprising other bulk minerals, salt, petroleum
products, general cargo, livestock and acid. A number of
significant privately and publicly funded infrastructure projects
underway will deliver additional port capacity for current
proponents such as BHP Billiton Iron Ore, as well as port
capacity for new and emerging junior and other mineral
producers looking to break it into the iron ore export market
for the first time. The public Utah Point multi-user berth facility
project will accommodate these new entrants into the market.
The concrete deck structure of the multi-user bulk minerals
berth at Utah Point, on the western side of the Port Hedland
Inner Harbour, has been completed and the structural steel
framing for the installation of the ore conveying system and the
wharf access road earthworks have commenced, with the
remainder of the infrastructure scheduled for completion in the
second half of 2010.
The Port Hedland Port Authority’s Utah Point multi-user
shiploader has been custom built by a collective of local
Australian companies at the Australian Marine Complex in Perth.
The shiploader was recently commissioned and is currently
being transported by a heavy lift ship, the Happy Buccaneer, to
Port Hedland Port for installation at the Utah Point berth. The
shiploader is designed to load at a rate of up to 7,500tph
(tonnes per hour) and will handle bulk mineral products
including iron ore, manganese and chromite.
The Port Hedland Port Authority has introduced the new
Cavotec MoorMaster vacuum mooring system at the Utah Point
multi-user berth. This system offers a number of benefits over
conventional rope mooring, including increased speed of
mooring and releasing vessels, and enhancing the safety for
personnel and crews working on wharves. The Cavotec vacuum
mooring system uses 14 large 2.5m2 vacuum pads, each providing
20 tonne holding force capable of handling bulk carriers up to
120,000dwt. The installation of this new system at Utah Point
may encourage other proponents in the Port Hedland Inner
Harbour investigating for their future berths in the port, to do
away with ropes and use suction pads to secure their vessels.
The Rocktec twin mobile feed hopper trains, which are part
of the Utah Point shiploading system, have been delivered at the
Utah Point stockyard site. The mobile hopper trains are a
specialized piece of equipment, each train comprising of three
apron feeder units and one control unit which will be installed
and connected together on 200m of railway, that can drive
alongside the stockpiled ore and take the ore from large
Komatsu WA900 front-end loaders, loading from the stockpile,
through the feed hopper into an overland conveyor, which then
feeds the shiploader directly into the ship’s hold. The two mobile
feed hopper trains feed onto the shiploading system at a rate of
1,200 to 2,800tph per apron feeder and the equipment is fully
automated and can be controlled remotely from the Port
Hedland Port Authority’s control room.
The Cavotec MoorMaster vacuum mooring system, the
Rocktec twin mobile feed hopper trains and the custom built
shiploader are innovative and specialised pieces of equipment
sourced for Port Hedland Port Authority’s Utah Point multi-user
berth project to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure to
facilitate trade efficiently and effectively for current and emerging
junior iron ore and other mineral producers.
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