Queensland Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations Minister John Mickel toured the Abbot Point port yesterday and said the expansion secured the state’s status as the world’s largest exporter of seaborne coal.
“Recent forecasts by the Queensland Resources Council suggest that there will be a total demand of up to 235 million tonnes by 2010 and Abbot Point will be well positioned to support future demands," Mickel said.
Comprising some $A1 billion of investment, PCQ has two other expansion projects in the works including the construction of a second berth some 2.9km offshore with an on-jetty conveyor covering that distance to transport stockyard coal to the ships.
Once finished a new ship-loader is expected to load coal at 7200 tonnes per hour.
A village built for the workers currently accommodates 125 but will be upgraded to hold 500 by March.
The X50 expansion – to ramp up coal export capacity to 50Mtpa is targeting mid-2010 completion while a further X110 expansion to hit 110Mtpa is also planned.
Mickel said PCQ ports generated almost 4400 jobs and annually contributed $A1.14 billion to regional economies.