Yarwun Coal Terminal declared significant as Abbot Point scaled back

The Queensland Government has declared the Yarwun Coal Terminal project significant as it announces a scaling back of the Abbot point super expansion plans.

The Queensland Government has declared the Yarwun Coal Terminal project significant as it announces a scaling back of the Abbot point super expansion plans.

The Yarwun coal terminal has been seen as a significant development for coal miners in the Surat Basin and offers more direct port access to export markets.

According to MetroCoal, which is aiming to export through the port, this announcement is an important mile4stone.

"The declaration is a significant step forward for the economic viability of the Surat Basin project areas, which will be enhanced via the construction of planned rail and port infrastructure," MetroCoal's CEO Mike O'Brien said.

"It recognises the importance of our projects for the future prosperity of Queensland and will ensure that the Government assesses (Yarwun) using an appropriate level of resources and co-ordination."

Despite this leap forward for Yarwun, it has been a step back for the $6,2 billion Abbot Point expansion, which has been radically downsized.

The Queensland minister for state development, infrastructure, and planning, Jeff Seeny, called the project "unrealistic and undeliverable, according to the Daily Mercury.

The proposals for funding were never going to come to reality," Seeney said.

The development has been cut from the projected six wharves down to only two, which would slash capacity from 400 million tonnes annually to 240 million tonnes.

This is not the first blow for the project, which last month saw Rio Tinto pull out of the expansion, citing 'economic uncertainty".

The move was slammed by the Greens at the time, which said that "dropping out shows a lack of commitment to the community.

"They're driven by greed."

However, BHP did reaffirm its commitment to the embattled project.

Mayor for the Whitsunday region, Jennifer Whitney, said the downsizing has been a huge shock.

Up until late last week we were of the view that everything was going ahead and there had been a slight delay with some environmental issues," Whitney said.

"It's a blow to the projected growth, the economy and to the people of the region, because people have been waiting for something of this size to happen for the past couple of years."
Federal member for the region, George Christensen, blamed the "extreme Greens" for "killing off" the project.

"The State Government's decision was not to kill the project off; they simply checked its pulse and found it was already dead.

"The real culprits are the extreme Greens and their fellow travellers in the Gillard Labor government who have dragged out the regulatory process to 17 months.

"Greens leader Christine Milne should now come to Bowen and explain her party's campaign to the locals who will miss out on the new opportunities the multi-cargo facility would have created.

"She should come up here and tell us what her plan is for growth in Bowen and it bloody better be more than windmills and growing lentils."

The T2 and T3 coal terminals will go ahead as they have already been approved.