Premier opens new berth at Hay Point Coal Terminal
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has opened the new third berth at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance's (BMA) Hay Point Coal Terminal, which lifts the export capacity from 44 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 55 mtpa.
The Premier was joined by BHP Billiton President Coal, Mike Henry, and Mitsubishi Corporation COO, Mineral Resources Investment Division, Rick Tanaka at the official ceremony.
The US$3 billion infrastructure asset, near Mackay in Central Queensland, was commenced in 2010-11.
BMA is a joint venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd, which owns and operates seven metallurgical coal mines in Central Queensland, Hay Point Coal Terminal and other infrastructure.
The Hay Point Coal Terminal third expansion project (HPX3) involved construction of a new berth and ship-loader alongside the existing two berths. It also included the replacement of the existing jetty, trestle conveyors and surge bins and linking conveyors.
The Premier said Queensland coal exports reached a new record in the last financial year of more than 219 million tonnes and it was pleasing to acknowledge the benefits of large infrastructure investments such as the Hay Point expansion, notwithstanding the challenging times faced by the coal sector.
"I want to thank BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi for their confidence in the Queensland coal export market and their contribution to the Queensland economy, despite coal prices having declined markedly in recent years," the Premier said.
Mr Henry said the recently completed terminal project reflected BHP Billiton's confidence in the BMA business in Queensland and the long-term outlook for metallurgical coal.
"BMA is the world's largest exporter of seaborne metallurgical coal and employs 9,000 Queenslanders. The opening of the HPX3 project is a significant milestone," BHP Billiton President Coal, Mike Henry said.
"Importantly, the increased capacity at HPX3 will enhance our ability to run an even more productive value chain.
"Through its design features, the project has also improved the Port's ability to withstand significant weather events, improving the resilience of the BMA business and enhancing customer confidence in the reliability of supply from BMA and Queensland."
In consultation with government agencies the HPX3 project was developed and is operated in accordance with comprehensive environmental management strategies covering dust and noise generation and the marine habitat.
New offshore facilities include the new Berth 3 and a new ship loader, two new trestle conveyors on a 1.9km trestle and conveyors between Berths 1, 2 and 3.
The construction workforce peaked at more than 1,630 during 2014 and more than 12.6 million person hours were worked.
More than 1 billion tonnes of coal have passed through Hay Point Coal Terminal since it was established in 1971.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is at Hay Point this morning to help open the $3 billion expansion facility today.
She said this development was a "vote of confidence" in the Queensland economy.
"This is a vote of confidence in the Queensland economy when we see this massive $3 billion US investment in Queensland," she said.
"Not only did we have 1600 jobs during construction. But also working with community and local environmental groups to make sure the balance is right."
"Coking coal is exported to a wide good quality steel. The resource industry will continue to be the backbone of the Queensland economy."