The Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal is officially up and running after the first shipload of coal left the facility this week bound for Singapore.
The carrier, Toro Orient, was filled with 74,750 tonnes of coal and its safe journey out of Gladstone Harbour marks the end of WICET’s three-year construction.
The new terminal is owned by eight coal miners and is expected to handle 27 million tonnes of coal per annum.
The terminal can expand to a total of 120 million tonnes per annum of long-term export capacity from the existing site when fully developed.
Greenpeace opposed the development of WICET and says falling coal production could see it become a “stranded asset”.
"It's taken seven years and around $3bn to build this port and the coal market is looking more depressed than ever. Coal demand has slumped, there's a glut in supply and prices are still falling. This coal port should never have been built and should be the last along the Great Barrier Reef," Greenpeace's Shani Tager said.
Image: Ebony Battersby.