Hay Point closure continues

COAL exports from BMA’s Hay Point Coal Terminal has been suspended since Thursday last week with no immediate resumption of loading in sight as high winds lash the Queensland coast.
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Hay Point Coal terminal. Courtesy BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.

Lou Caruana

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance felt it was not safe enough to start operating the terminal after a further deterioration of weather conditions over the weekend and with current forecasts, it said in a statement to International Longwall News yesterday.

“We will continue to monitor conditions to decide when it is safe to reopen the terminal,” BMA spokesperson Fiona Martin said.

“We expect impacts to be recovered subject to ongoing weather conditions."

The Bureau of Meteorology today issued a coastal wind warning for the Queensland coast.

“Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului, currently 750 nautical miles northeast of Mackay and over the northeast Coral Sea, is expected to continue moving slowly westwards over the next couple of days, then turn towards the south mid-week while remaining well off the Queensland coast,” it said.

Hay Point port comprises two separate coal export terminals – Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, leased from the state government by private company DBCT Management, and the Hay Point Coal Terminal, owned and operated by BMA.

DBCT, which lies adjacent to Hay Point, remains open at this stage.

Together, the two terminals serve the coal mines of central Queensland. The mines are linked to the terminals through an integrated rail-port network. North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation is the port authority.

BMA owns and operates seven Bowen Basin mines – Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Peak Downs, Saraji, Norwich Park, Gregory Crinum and Blackwater –which use the Hay Point terminal.

Following a recent expansion program, the terminal has the capacity to handle and despatch around 43-45 million tonnes of coal a year.