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Environmental Challenges of the Construction of the Coal Export Terminal
April 11, 2008 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hunter Valley coal producers rely upon shared rail and port facilities to export coal through the Port of Newcastle. All coal exports from the Hunter Region are presently exported through coal terminals managed by Port Waratah Coal Services Limited (PWCS). Recently the coal supply chain has been unable to keep up with strong buyer demand, and there is a need for additional ports capacity.
The NCIG Coal Export Terminal project involves rail receival facilities, stockyards and shiploading facilities. The shiploading facilities will be to the west of the existing Kooragang shiploaders with the stockyards and rail facilities to the south-west of the existing Kooragang Coal Terminal. All will be built to current standards for automated low impact coal handling. The Hunter River will also need to be deepened to allow ships to reach the planned berths. Approval for dredging of the South Arm of the Hunter River was granted in August 2005.
Project Approval (06_0009) was granted for the construction of the Coal Export Terminal under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 on 13 April 2007.
Dredging operations commenced in November 2007 and will be undertaken over an 18 month program. Preliminary works have also commenced to prepare the site for the ramp up in construction activity. The development program requires that operation of the terminal commence by March 2010.