Weekly coal exports at Newcastle Port fall 10%

The Port of Newcastle.

Image courtesy of the Port of Newcastle

Coal exports at Newcastle Port have dropped nearly 10 per cent on the previous week, cutting waiting time to a seven-month low.

According to the port’s weekly operations report, coal shipments fell to 1.6 million tonnes in the week to September 8, down from about two million tonnes in the previous week.

The decline in coal shipment led to shorter waiting time for vessels entered. Average waiting time for 17 coal vessels was 8.75 days in the week, a near seven-month low, while that of non-coal vessels was reported to be 0.72 days.

A total of 19 ships were queued up outside the port waiting to load 1.9 million tonnes of coals, with four vessels in the port loading around 0.3 million tonnes.

Among companies that ship coal through the world’s largest coal export terminal are Xstrata Plc, BHP Biliton and Rio Tinto Group.

Coal stocks at the port’s Carrington and Kooragang loading terminals increased to 1.2 million tonnes, affected by smooth mining operations.

Last month, Ports Minister Joe Tripodi announced three short-listed companies for the construction of wharf facilities on the former BHP site at the Port of Newcastle.

“After an extensive evaluation process, the three companies asked to tender are Abigroup, BMD Constructions and Daracon Group,” Mr Tripodi said.

The Mayfield no.4 berth project involves the upgrade of a former BHP ore berth and the provision of hardstand for port-related uses such as cargo handling, storage and assembly area.

The companies will submit their tenders by September 18, with the contract expected to be awarded in November.

 

Mr Tripodi said the Mayfield site has significant potential for a range of port and freight uses, well-positioned at the Port of Newcastle, close to the Newcastle CBD.

“The NSW Government has identified the Port of Newcastle as the next major container port once Port Botany reaches capacity,” he said.

“About 35 hectares of the Mayfield site is for a future container terminal and this is an important part of the future diversification of the port.”

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