Overlooking demand recovery since the worst months of the global financial crisis, New South Wales Ports Minister Paul McLeay said the 3.9Mt of growth was due to the Hunter Coal Export Framework, which came into effect on January 1, 2010.
The new industry and state government plan to manage coal exports out of Newcastle is structured to have coal loading and rail operations underpinned and aligned by 10-year contracts.
Under the plan, $A5 billion in new infrastructure is planned for delivery at Newcastle in the next four years.
Last week the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group officially opened its 30Mt per annum Kooragang Island terminal – Newcastle’s third terminal.
NCIG completed the feasibility study for the second-stage expansion to 66Mtpa last year and has earmarked land for a separate 90Mtpa terminal, Terminal 4.
The consortium consists of BHP Billiton, Donaldson Coal, Whitehaven, Centennial Coal, Peabody and more recently Yancoal Australia following its acquisition of Felix Resources.