Port Waratah Abandons Newcastle Coal Port Expansion

Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) has decided to abandon the Terminal 4 development project in Newcastle as the capacity of the existing coal terminals would be sufficient for future growth in coal exports.

Namely, PWCS advised the Port of Newcastle that it intends to allow the Terminal 4 agreement for lease to lapse when it expires in August 2019.

Chief Executive Officer Hennie du Plooy explained that the company opted for the moveafter concluding that the capacity of the existing coal terminals, including potential expansion options, “are likely to be sufficient to cater for future growth in coal exports.”

Market conditions for Hunter Valley coal are strong, with Newcastle exports stable near record levels and prices are once again above USD 100 per tonne. At Port Waratah’s terminals 105 million tonnes were loaded in 2017 and incremental growth is expected this year.

“With significant growth capacity available in the existing terminals, we do not expect that the conditions to support an investment of the large and long-term nature of Terminal 4 will be in place before the development approval lapses in September 2020,” du Plooy added.

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