Hay Pt coal port has a big year

HAY Point coal terminal has had a bumper year.

The coal port south of Mackay exported about 96.5 million tonnes in the 2012/13 financial year - that figure is 13.6 million tonnes higher than the previous year.

North Queensland Bulk Ports regional relationship practitioner Simon Eldridge said this could even be a record-breaking year for the port.

"The first three months of this financial year have seen strong growth in the volume of coal exported through the port of Hay Point with a total of 26,336,557 tonnes compared with 20,817,676 tonnes for the same three-month period last financial year," he said.

"If maintained at the current rate for the next nine months, this year could see a record annual amount of coal exported through Hay Point."

During the 2009/10 financial year, the port exported a whopping 99.5 million tonnes.

However, Mr Eldridge warned the current rate may not be maintained, depending on the severity of the wet season.

The increase in exports could possibly be because mines need to maintain or increase volumes to uphold profitability, with lower coal prices, he said.

About 80% of coal exported from the Port of Hay Point is high-grade metallurgical coal.

In general, metallurgical coal is exported to China, Japan, France and Italy.

The proposed Dudgeon Point coal terminal development is still progressing slowly.

"NQBP is continuing to progress planning for Dudgeon Point but at a slower pace. The EIS (environmental impact study) for the project is currently paused," he said.

"The coal market is down as is the current appetite for investment in infrastructure of this type.

"NQBP does not want to be caught out, however, when market demand improves so it is continuing with finalising environmental studies."

Mr Eldridge believed demand for the port's expansion would continue.

EXPORT:

  •  2003/2004: 77,546,002
  •  2004/2005: 85,558,787
  •  2005/2006: 81,621,197
  •  2006/2007: 86,226,897
  •  2007/2008: 80,430,170
  •  2008/2009: 82,449,664
  •  2009/2010: 99,465,091
  •  2010/2011: 87,805,164
  •  2011/2012: 82,853,893
  •  2012/20013: 96,540,226


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