Queensland seals $2.5 billion coal port deal
Queensland’s coal export capacity will be boosted as a result of the financial close of the $2.5 billion Wiggins Island Coal export Terminal.
The privately funded venture will create over 900 jobs for the Gladstone region and increase its coal export capacity to 150 million tonnes per annum.
State Finance Minister Rachel Nolan said the deal includes funds for the redevelopment of Gladstone's foreshore, comprising $35 million from the consortium and $10 million from the Queensland Government.
"We believe that projects like this, which are privately funded but facilitated by the government, really are the way forward and I look forward to seeing coal leaving our shores from WICET as early as 2014,” Ms Nolan said.
The consortium of coal exporters behind the project will own and develop the new terminal, which will be operated by the State Government-owned Gladstone Ports Corporation Ltd.
Stage 1 of the terminal - to be built north of the entrance to the Calliope River - will have an annual capacity of 27 million tonnes from eight coal producers, with the first shipments expected in 2014-15.
Proposed total export capacity of the terminal is around 80 million tonnes per annum.
Earlier this month, QR National announced an agreement with Stage 1 producers to build the Wiggins Island Rail Project to transport the coal to the new terminal.
The rail project involves a 13 kilometre rail loop near Gladstone, along with upgrades to the North Coast Line, the Moura System and the Bauhinia branch line, and duplications of track along the Blackwater rail system.
On completion, the mainline Blackwater rail system will be fully duplicated.