GPC de­fends the fu­ture of coal

AMID THE RE­LEASE OF A LONG-TERM PLAN, GPC HAS AD­DRESSED CON­CERNS WITHIN THE COAL IN­DUS­TRY

Central Queensland News - - CQ INDUSTRY -

THE fu­ture of coal is bright ac­cord­ing to the Glad­stone Ports Cor­po­ra­tion, which has un­veiled the draft of a 2050 plan for its fu­ture de­vel­op­ment and growth.

De­fend­ing the longevity of cok­ing and ther­mal coal, GPC chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter O’Sul­li­van said var­i­ous re­ports showed the com­mod­ity would sur­vive even with a “max­i­mum up­take in re­new­able en­ergy”.

Mr O’Sul­li­van’s ad­dress of coal in­dus­try con­cerns yes­ter­day comes off the back of a re­sources ex­pert point­ing out the draft plan needed to con­sider a “worst case sce­nario”.

The Depart­ment of State De­vel­op­ment’s draft plan fo­cuses on three pos­si­ble growth sce­nar­ios for Glad­stone’s Port, which ex­ported 116.7mt last year.

“They didn’t put in a sce­nario for neg­a­tive growth that al­lows for the pos­si­bil­ity of a ma­jor de­cline in the coal in­dus­try and other sec­tors of the econ­omy,” CQUniver­sity’s eco­nomic pro­fes­sor John Rolfe said.

The first sce­nario es­ti­mates lim­ited growth, lim­ited dredg­ing in the Glad­stone Har­bour, a weak coal price and max­i­mum through­put of 151 mil­lion tonnes per an­num.

The sec­ond sce­nario is de­pen­dent on de­vel­op­ment with the mas­ter planned area and a strong price growth for com­modi­ties, and would lead to 230 mil­lion tonnes of through­put per year.

Mean­while the third, what Prof Rolfe says is the least likely, fore­casts sig­nif­i­cant growth in the econ­omy, coal ex­ports and com­mod­ity prices.

Mr O’Sul­li­van said the plan, which cov­ers growth from now un­til 2050, con­sid­ered growth pro­jec­tions and fore­casts within the in­dus­try.

“The In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency pre­dicts that even with the max­i­mum up­take in re­new­ables, world de­mand for both cok­ing and ther­mal coal will in­crease,” he said.

“Cur­rently 70% of coal from RG Tanna Coal Ter­mi­nal is cok­ing coal and an in­crease in de­mand for steel in In­dia and the large num­ber of High Ef­fi­ciency Low Emis­sions power sta­tions planned for Asia means the long-term out­look for coal is still pos­i­tive.

“Any down­turn in coal or other prod­uct sim­ply means a slower rate of de­vel­op­ment for the port as with a won­der­ful nat­u­ral deep wa­ter har­bour, the op­por­tu­ni­ties to at­tract other trades to the area over the next thirty (30) years are very pos­i­tive.”

Glad­stone Ports Cor­po­ra­tions Port of Glad­stone was iden­ti­fied by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment as one of the four pri­or­ity ports in the state.

The Glad­stone Port draft mas­ter plan is the first re­leased, which will be fol­lowed by Townsville, Hay and Ab­bot Point.

Mr O’Sul­li­van urged the com­mu­nity to take the time to re­view the doc­u­ment and pro­vide feed­back.

Adding, “the port drives the liveli­hood of the town”, Mr O’Sul­li­van said the long-term plan was a re­sult of on­go­ing con­sul­ta­tion be­tween the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment, Glad­stone Re­gional Coun­cil and GPC.

“The Port of Glad­stone has a his­tory span­ning over 100 years, the draft mas­ter plan pro­vides GPC, the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment and Glad­stone Re­gional Coun­cil with the foun­da­tion to en­sure the port’s ex­is­tence well in to the fu­ture,” he said.

The Glad­stone Ports Cor­po­ra­tion’s 2015-16 an­nual re­port doc­u­mented the strug­gles within the coal in­dus­try, ad­mit­ting it was “the worst in­dus­try con­di­tions for decades”.

The Oc­to­ber 2016 re­port an­tic­i­pated this year would be “equally as dif­fi­cult” for the coal in­dus­try.

THE PLAN

■ The draft of a mas­ter plan out­lin­ing the vi­sion for Glad­stone’s port to 2050 was re­leased late last month.

■ The plan is the first of four be­ing de­vel­oped for Queens­land’s pri­or­ity ports, which also in­cludes Townsville, Ab­bot Point and Hay Point.

■ Sub­mis­sions on the draft mas­ter plan close on Mon­day Oc­to­ber 9.

■ A fi­nal mas­ter plan and fi­nal mas­ter planned area will be re­leased by mid-2018.

PHOTO: MIKE RICHARDS GLA060215CALC

FU­TURE PLAN: Glad­stone Ports Cor­po­ra­tion’s Auck­land Point fa­cil­ity holds thou­sands of tonnes of cal­cite for shipping to Geelong, Vic­to­ria for fi­nal pro­cess­ing.

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