The Queensland Government has invested more than $60 million in a new coal shiploader for the Port of Gladstone.
The replacement shiploader will be built on site in Gladstone, creating more than 200 construction jobs.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said the investment in the new shiploader would support thousands of jobs in the resources sector for decades to come.
“This investment will see the replacement of the oldest shiploader at the RG Tanna Coal Terminal, which has been operating for more than 40 years,” the Treasurer said.
“The new shiploader will secure the capacity of the RG Tanna terminal for another 25 years, ensuring this vital export port can continue to meet the needs of its customers.
“As the Port of Gladstone grows and diversifies to export the hydrogen electrolysers that Fortescue Future Industries will manufacture here, we know coal export will also be part of its future for decades to come.
“The 36 per cent rise in the value of Queensland coal exports from 2020 to 2021 played a significant role in the overall value of our exports, which rose to nearly $80 billion for the year.”
The RG Tanna Coal Terminal uses three shiploaders.
The replacement machine will be built within Gladstone Ports Corporation’s (GPC) Port Central Precinct, then transferred via a heavy lift ship a short distance to its new home for operation.
Design activities are planned to commence in March 2022, with commissioning planned for May 2024.
GPC chair Anthony Lynham said the shiploader build was a first for Gladstone and one of the most significant projects the port had undertaken.
“This is a once-in-a-career opportunity for our team due to the sheer lifespan of these assets, and to see the shiploader being fabricated right here at the port is a great achievement, not just for the port but for the community and for the state – keeping jobs local,” Lynham said.
“Traditionally, machines of this size are constructed overseas and imported into Australia, so to be able to build one right here at Auckland Point is a significant achievement and a boost for manufacturing in Queensland.
“Our people are some of the most skilled in the world and we are extremely proud we are able to deliver this project within the local economy.
“It not only shows confidence in future market demand for exports, but it’s great news in terms of jobs, trade, and the region’s prosperity as GPC plans for the next 50 years.”
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett welcomed the new investment in local jobs, saying this demonstrated the strong future the resources sector had in his community.
“I believe Gladstone and Central Queensland have a bright future through more jobs in more industries. This investment is proof of that,” Burnett said.
“Whether that be in a coal mine or loader, a manufacturing shop floor, a gas or oil pipeline, in new energy generation and transmission, or through the thousands of jobs coming in the hydrogen industry.”