The Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) is in discussions with Xstrata Coal to transform Port Alma into a major coal export facility.
According to GPC chief executive Leo Zussino the company is developing a strategic plan for the port for the next 12 to 18 months.
“Xstrata Coal has been given the right to build a coal terminal which will handle up to 30 million tonnes of coal per annum,” he said in a statement.
Port Alma, south of Rockhampton, currently imports and exports a range of general cargo as well as ammonium nitrate, explosives, frozen beef and tallow.
According to Zussino, the development of the coal terminal is tied to the Wandoan Coal Project.
“We envisage supporting rail infrastructure from Bajool will be built to service the new facility,” he said.
Xstrata’s proposed 32,000 ha Wandoan coal project in Central Queensland will comprise an open-cut coal mine, a coal handling and preparation plant and support facilities.
The new railway line will be developed by the Surat Basin Rail Joint Venture, which would link the mine with Port Alma.
Zussino believes Port Alma has the potential to develop into a significant Queensland port.