The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given the go ahead to the Hunter Valley’s long-term coal export plan.
The approval means that coal producers in the region will begin exporting from Newcastle under long term contractual arrangements with Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS).
The contracts will begin on 1 January 2010. According to PWCS, the new arrangements will move the Hunter Valley Coal Chain away from the ad-hoc and confused approach to coal exporting in recent years.
“It also provides a foundation for more accurate and timely infrastructure decisions that will ultimately lead to a significant boost in coal exports,” the company said.
PWCS general manager Graham Davidson said the approval was the final hurdle after exhaustive discussions and negotiations between the Hunter Valley coal industry and the New South Wales Government.
“The industry can operate with far more certainty over the medium to long term once the plan comes into full effect,” he said.