Mining and construction company Thiess has been contracted by the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) to build a coal export terminal on Kooragang Island as part of a $1 billion expansion.
The site is located on the Hunter River, north of Newcastle.
The NCIG is made up of Hunter Valley Energy Coal, Centennial Coal Company, Donaldson Coal, Excel Coal, Felix Resources and Whitehaven Coal Mining.
Construction of the $105 million project will include installation of inbound and outbound rail systems and a new coal stockyard.
Dredging will also take place to deepen the Hunter River, allowing ships to reach the planned berths to the west of the Kooragang loader.
The schedule for Thiess to complete work on the project is tight, but plans are in place to bring it in on time, Thiess operations manager Richard Walker said.
“It’s a very tight timeframe that Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group is working to,” Walker told Australian Mining.
“We’re going to do a lot of work off site so we can get as much done as possible prior to actually going on site.
“We’ll be utilising the local fabrication shops and their yards to do as much processing as we can, and then take it directly to site.”
The new terminal is expected to increase coal output capacity by 30 Mtpa, the largest single stage development of a coal terminal in the world.
The output of the site for 2008 will be around 95 M t.
The new project will also lead to local job opportunities.
“We have a policy of generating as many local jobs as possible at all of our projects,” Thiess managing director Dave Saxelby said.
“We expect to do the same thing at Kooragang.”
Thiess has previously worked on projects on Kooragong Island and other coal facilities, and the new terminal will benefit from that experience, Thiess process operations manager Dave Abbot said.
“We’ve actually had a few years experience within the coal industry, building stockpiling and material handling facilities,” Abbot said.
“Most recently we completed a number of major coal stockyards and load-out facilities in the Bowen Basin.”
The new terminal is scheduled to be ready for operation by the end of 2009.