The Port Kembla Coal Terminal (PKCT) passed a major milestone on Sunday 22 January, when it loaded its 250 millionth tonne of coal since the current terminal was commissioned in 1982.
PKCT General Manager John Brannon said those 250 million tonnes of coal represented several billion dollars to the regional economy and thousands of jobs in mining, transporting and loading the coal.? Mr Brannon said 'PKCT plays a crucial role in generating income for the Illawarra and Lithgow regions and jobs for residents of these areas.'
The 250 millionth tonne of coal was mined at Excel Coal's Metropolitan Colliery in Helensburgh and loaded onto the Global Challenger, destined for India, on Sunday 22nd January. Tony De Santis, General Manager of Metropolitan Colliery, said 'PKCT plays a vital role in enabling the mining industry to realise export opportunities. PKCT's quick ship turnaround times provides us with a competitive advantage against other terminals with vessel queues and supports our capacity to deliver to international markets.
Mr Brannon said 'PKCT is now enjoying an upsurge in demand for the high quality coking and steaming coal produced in the Southern and Western Coalfields respectively. The hard coking coal produced in the Illawarra is up there in quality with the best in the world,'? he said. 'It's a highly sought-after product.'
We're seeing growth in the steel industries in China and India, resulting in growing demand for coking coal. And the expanding economies in those countries have seen a growing demand for steaming coal for power stations as well.
PKCT shipped 10.3 million tonnes in 2004-2005, but is designed to handle up to 18 million tonnes. Mr Brannon said that this spare capacity positions PKCT well for future growth. PKCT anticipates increased shipping of coal over the next few years, and we are looking forward to supporting a bright future for the mining industry in the Illawarra.
For more information, contact: Debra Murphy on 4221 1826 or Mobile 0417 202 376