The Queensland Government has developed a plan for coal transport infrastructure worth $5.4 billion.
Transport Minister John Mickel said the multi-billion program of projects would encompass the smooth transportation of coal from mine to port.
“The Coal Transport Infrastructure Program sets forth the Queensland Government’s plans for major coal transport infrastructure development in Queensland to 2015 and beyond,” Mickel said.
“It’s a key component within a broader $15 billion coal infrastructure program of actions initiated in 2005. It will identify the best options to deliver that infrastructure, and ensure our export supply chain is operating with maximum efficiency.”
By late last year start government had already invested about $4.4 billion to expand the State’s coal transport infrastructure, with $2.9 billion of that being spent by QR and port government-owned corporations.
Some of the major planned developments include new rail links in the northern Bowen and Surat Basins.
Major port expansions include the Abbot Point expansion to at least 50 million tonnes per annum and up to 100 million tonnes per annum; and a new Wiggins Island Coal Terminal in Gladstone, providing potentially 85 million tonnes per annum of new capacity.
Coal is Queensland’s single most important mineral export commodity, worth more than $20 billion a year.
The state exported about 153 million tonnes of coal exports last financial year – more than double (59 million tonnes) what was being exported less than 20 years ago.
Based on current demand, Queensland’s coal exports are projected to grow by approximately 42% by 2015.
Forecasts for the next five years remain strong, particularly to markets in China, South-East Asia, India, Japan and Brazil.