The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a draft proposing approval of Capacity Framework Arrangements for a solution towards the current capacity constraints in the Hunter Valley coal chain.
These proposals will allow terminal operators and producers to more accurately make decisions regarding investment and expansion of capacity.
“For the first time, coal producers will be able to sign long term contacts to secure export capacity at the port of Newcastle,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.
The port arrangements will also provide a structure that will help producers align contracts with Hunter Valley port and rail operators.
“The arrangements also support centralised modeling of contractable coal chain capacity and monitoring of coal chain performance standards, which should prevent large vessels forming queues offshore,” Samuel added.
Before the proposal of these long term arrangements, the ACCC was requested to authorise various transitional measures designed to balance demand for coal loading services at the port of Newcastle with the levels of coal the Hunter Valley chain could deliver.
The applicants have been phasing in the Capacity Framework Arrangements over the last half of 2009, with expectation of being fully operational from January 2010.