Newcastle coal terminal up for final approval

Supporters of the proposed T4 coal loader at Newcastle will have to jump through a final hoop today, with 100 speakers registered to address a Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) hearing over two days.

The hearing will be attended by representatives for the coal industry such as Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) boss Henny Du Plooy, as well as vocal opponents of the coal industry.

The T4 project, which will be built on Kooragang Island, was recommended for approval by the PAC late last year, and last month received approval from the state planning department.

The PCWS facility has capacity to load 142 million tonnes of coal per year, and the $5 billion T4 loader will increase this capacity by 70 million tonnes.

Newcastle Herald reported that at the height of the boom PCWS moved a maximum of 112 million tonnes per year.

PWCS chief executive Hennie du Plooy recently said exports from the Newcastle terminals were on par with this time last year, despite the “challenging economic climate”.

A report from Coal Services showed coal exports from NSW are up 5 per cent on the previous financial year, indicating a steady demand in the Asian regions, however coal exports taken a massive hit nationally, down 38.2 per cent for the first five months of 2015 compared to the previous year.

The T4 construction project is expected to create approximately 1500 new jobs and 80 operations positions after completion.

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