The terminal has a nameplate capacity of 85 million tonnes per annum but is yet to hit this rate because the rail capacity is not up to speed.
Back in June a DBCT Management spokesperson told ILN that the rail feeding the terminal was running at about 72Mtpa.
On Friday another spokesperson told ILN that an expansion of the terminal was in the very early stages of feasibility.
He said North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation would need to complete the masterplan, which included the land use strategy, before “anything more concrete is known”.
“The terminal owner DBCT Management is currently taking access applications and until that is finalised the exact size of the port expansion won't be clear, but it is expected to be beyond a 40 million tonne per annum expansion,” the spokesperson said.
He added that it would take approximately four years to complete from a kick-off point “sometime in 2012” with first coal shipments estimated in 2016.
This start-up date poses problems for the Eagle Downs hard coking coal project in Queensland.
Aquila Resources is seeking damages from 50:50 joint venture partner Vale for the expected income from longwall mining at Eagle Downs from 2013.
Back in January, Vale unexpectedly pulled out of logistical arrangements to export up to 4Mtpa of coal from the Abbot Point Coal Terminal, about 20 kilometres north of Gladstone.
Vale decided a future DBCT expansion would provide a better port option for Eagle Downs.
On the legal dispute, Vale previously told ILN it prefers to follow the court process for resolution.
Aquila expects a Queensland Supreme Court trial to be held over the matter in 2011.