Newcastle coal ship queues to increase

 Coal ship queues outside of Newcastle are set to rise to more than 50 for the first time in two years.

On the back of the major improvements carried out on the Hunter Valley Coal Chain (HVCC) which reduced the previous issue of logjams, forecasts show ship numbers reaching 54 by the end of next month, according to the ABC.

These numbers have not been seen 2010.

There are currently 38 ships waiting at anchor outside of the port.

A spokesperson for the HVCC said while demand has played a big part in the rise, planned maintenance on the coal chain is likely to cause the queues to increase.

A large section of the track between the Gunnedah Basin and Newcastle will close for three days next month,

Maintenance work is also planned for the coal loaders as well.

Work is currently progressing on the installation of a third coal loader in the city, to be constructed at Mayfield.

Built by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler, it will handle up to 100 million tonnes of coal annually and cost more than $1 billion. 

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