The long term export plan for the Newcastle coal terminal agreed on last Friday will give investors and coal producers more security and confidence in the future, a spokesperson for New South Wales Minister for Infrastructure Joe Tripodi told MINING DAILY.
“The agreement gives companies 10 year rolling export allocation contracts which will give them the certainty to invest in mine expansion and terminal infrastructure,” he said.
“They can plan 10 years in advance the capacities they will be able to build for.”
Last Friday saw the final relevant party, the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG), sign the export agreement that had already been approved by Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) and Newcastle Port Corp (NPC).
Both PWCS and NPC had signed the agreement by the deadline of 31 August.
According to Tripodi’s spokesperson, the next step of presenting the plan to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) should not present a significant hurdle.
“(ACCC chairman) Graeme Samuel gave some indication on the weekend that he welcomed the deal, and that will probably go a long way toward him agreeing to the new plan,” he said.
The current coal terminal system of capacity balances will stay in place until the new agreement comes into effect on 1 January.
This will protect coal producers from any immediate trade practice problems, the spokesperson said.