Tinkler’s Hunter Ports has lodged a proposal for the Newcastle terminal with the New South Wales government just as PWCS finalised its Environmental Assessment (EA) for its Terminal 4 (T4) project.
PWCS’s EA, which addresses potential social and environmental aspects of the project, will be lodged with the NSW Department of Planning and Newcastle Port Corporation tomorrow and is expected to be placed on public exhibition early in 2012.
Tinkler claims his proposed terminal would be better for local residents because its impact would be lessened by using noise barriers and shields.
The Hunter Ports terminal will have the capacity to export $12 billion worth of coal per year, creating 1,600 jobs once it is operating, Hunter Ports managing director Steve van Barneveld said.
He reportedly told the ABC the project has been a personal crusade by Tinkler, whose Aston Resources has been frustrated in securing adequate port access at the Port of Newcastle.
"Nathan Tinkler has been front and centre of creating this idea,” van Barneveld reportedly said.
"It will set new benchmarks in environmental and operational standards for terminals in Newcastle.
"The proposal actually also includes a rail realignment which will remove an estimated 90 per cent of coal trains from residential areas and absolutely transform the precinct."
PWCS said it would await feedback from the Department of Planning, other government agencies and the Newcastle community before considering final adjustments to the T4 proposal.
T4 is expected to cost in the vicinity of $5 billion dollars and will add an additional 120 million tonnes of coal loading capacity at Newcastle.
PWCS will exhaust its existing operational footprint of 145Mt in 2015, while Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group has approvals to build capacity of 66Mt.
“The EA submission is an important milestone in the planning and environmental assessment process behind the T4 project,” PWCS chief executive Hennie du Plooy said.
“It demonstrates that PWCS is on track to meet its obligation to deliver T4 for the Hunter Valley coal industry, subject to planning approvals.”