Whitehaven Coal owns 11% of the NCIG consortium, and provided an update in its annual results yesterday.
While the NCIG terminal was officially opened in May, the terminal did not hit its intended 30Mtpa capacity at this time and can still only load Panamax vessels.
Further dredging at the terminal is delayed until BHP Billiton completes its nearby dredging as part of its Hunter River Remediation Project.
While NCIG has government approval to expand the terminal to 66Mtpa, Whitehaven expects an additional 23Mtpa of capacity (taking the total to 52Mtpa) to be available in mid 2012.
“Of this, 12Mtpa has been to be made available to non-NCIG shippers,” Whitehaven said.
The coal company expects the remaining 13Mtpa of completed stage two capacity to be available in mid 2013.
Port Waratah Coal Services also holds plans to develop a fourth terminal, T4, at Newcastle’s port.
To be located on Kooragang Island, Whitehaven said a project team was formed to advance the T4 project.
“Depending on producer demand, T4 may be available by around 2015.”
Railing coal is another issue, and Whitehaven forked out $35.5 million for its own 5,400 tonne coal train last year while its long term haulage agreement with Asciano subsidiary Pacific National includes a provision for further new trains as required.