On 4 May this year, Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group opened
its third coal export terminal for business. The group said that
the first stage of the terminal is completed fully now and ready
to operate.
According to NCIG, the total cost of the first stage of the
terminal was reported of about $A1 billion. NCIG said that the
terminal has a capacity of up to 30mt (million tonnes) per year.
NCIG said on 4 May that there was a need for this terminal
as the export demand is continuously growing.
Newcastle also said that now it will start working on the
second phase of the terminal.
“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 NSW,”
said Tony Galligan, chairman of NCIG.
Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group started the
construction of this project in the year 2007.
The new terminal has a rail loop, dump station, stockyards and
wharf facilities in it.
The Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) was
formed in 2004 to address fundamental capacity issues (rail and
port) associated with coal handling for regional coal exporters.
The members of NCIG are significant coal producers who
have sufficient coal reserves and projects to materially increase
their aggregate coal production by at least 30mt (million tonnes)
during the next five to ten years.
Member companies are BHP Billiton (through Hunter Valley
Energy Coal) Centennial Coal, Donaldson Coal, Peabody Energy
(through Excel Coal), Felix Resources and Whitehaven Coal.
Like all regional coal producers, members of the group rely on
shared rail and port facilities to export coal from Newcastle. At
present this coal supply chain is unable to keep up with strong
buyer demand. The queue of coal ships off the existing port and
the subsequent demurrage charges imposed on exporters is a
problem the industry has to contend with on a daily basis.
On 18 February, the terminal passed a major milestone with
the arrival of the first coal train delivery. Minister for Ports and
Waterways Paul McLeay said the train with 74 wagons of
‘sacrificial coal’ from the Wilpinjong mine, made its first delivery
onto the rail loop on Kooragang Island. “This ‘sacrificial coal’ is
being used to form the base of the coal stockpiles. It’s also the
first operational test of the rail loop, dump station, conveyor
system and stackers. This process will continue over the coming
weeks with the first export coal arriving next month” McLeay
said at the time. “Several thousand tonnes of coal was
successfully loaded for the first time onto the conveyor system
during the day. I congratulate NCIG Project Director Rob Yeates
and his team as the system passed its initial test with flying
On 16 March, the first export coal was delivered to the
terminal. On that date, the terminal accepted its first trainload of
coal for export. McLeay said this was a significant achievement
for NCIG and its shareholders. “In January the NSW
Government brought the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Agreement
into effect, providing industry with certainty and security.”
“From this NCIG and its shareholders committed over $1
billion to increase the capacity of the Hunter’s export coal
“The building of Stage One of this terminal has made a
notable contribution to the regional and state economy. When it
reaches full capacity of 30mt a year, the value of New South
Wales exports will rise by $3-billion.”
Minister for the Hunter and Member for Newcastle, Jodi
McKay, said the increased capacity at the Newcastle Coal
Infrastructure Group was great news for the region.
“Up to 800 people have been working at NCIG each day
thanks to the recent expansion,” McKay said.
“These jobs are great news for families in the Hunter and the
flow-on effect they have to the region’s economy is very
NCIG General Manager Paul Beale said the process of
commissioning the massive and complex terminal will take some
“We’ve been busy, but it will take some time to ramp up
through 2010 to our full capacity.”
“Over the past three weeks NCIG has received 12 trains or
80,000 tonnes of ‘sacrificial’ coal,” Beale said.
Government welcomes PWCS expansion
On 4 February, Ports and Waterways Minister Paul McLeay
today welcomed the announcement from Port Waratah
Coal Services (PWCS) on its $670 million expansion plans
for the company’s Kooragang Island terminal at Port of
Newcastle. He applauded this move saying this is a direct
result of the Hunter Coal Export Framework (HCEF),
announced in January.
“On January 1 the NSW Government implemented the
historic agreement between coal producers and the
Government, and within a month we’ve seen the first
investment under the Framework. We’ve moved from
plans into action. This massive commitment is just the first
step,” McLeay said. “This is a perfect example of
government and industry working together to improve
systems, support and create jobs and deliver first class
services. It is encouraging news for the Port of Newcastle
and the Hunter Region.”
The PWCS $670 million expansion project will increase
the capacity of the Kooragang Island coal loader by 20
million tonnes per annum. Works are scheduled to be
completed by the end of 2011.
“This project and the additional 20mt export capacity
for PWCS shows why the NSW Government and industry
worked so hard in finalizing the HCEF.”
“The effects are real and tangible. By 2016 the Hunter
Coal Export Framework will see 25,000 additional jobs
and billions of dollars of investment in the region and
NSW economy. “This major project demonstrates strong
confidence in the Hunter Region and underscores the
importance of the Hunter as an engine room of the NSW
and Australian economy.”
On 3 February, PWCS announced: construction of a
new 330 metre coal loading berth; extension of two key
coal stockpiling pads; replacement of two coal stacking
machines; and deconstruction of redundant stackers and
new coal conveying equipment