The expansion will increase BHP Billiton’s allocation at NCIG by a further 4.6 million tonnes per annum to 19.2Mtpa supporting the future expansions of the Mt Arthur Coal mine, located about 5 kilometres south of Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW.
BHP Billiton’s wholly-owned subsidiary Hunter Valley Energy Coal is a 35.5% shareholder in the holding company of the NCIG.
The port expansion project will increase total capacity at the coal terminal from 53Mtpa to 66Mtpa and the first coal on the new ship loader is scheduled to occur in the 2014 financial year, with the terminal expected to operate at full capacity within the following 12 months.
BHP Billiton Energy Coal president Jimmy Wilson said: “We are steadily growing the Mt Arthur Mine and evaluating the development of Caroona. This port expansion underpins the future of these two sites.”