Utah Point ter­mi­nal in spot­light as ports au­thor­ity suf­fers rev­enue dip

Pilbara News - - News - Nick Evans

The State Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to help ju­nior min­ers deal with the iron ore price crunch cost the Pil­bara Ports Au­thor­ity about $50 mil­lion in lost rev­enue last fi­nan­cial year — but WA Trea­sury still made $100 mil­lion.

Pil­bara Ports Au­thor­ity, which runs the State’s iron ore ports at Dampier and Port Hed­land, de­clared an af­ter-tax profit of $119.7 mil­lion last fi­nan­cial year, ac­cord­ing to its an­nual re­port.

That was $79.2 mil­lion down on the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year, on op­er­at­ing rev­enue that dipped 11 per cent to $388.7 mil­lion, de­spite vol­umes through the two ports ris­ing to a record 633.5 mil­lion tonnes.

The PPA con­firmed the bulk of that rev­enue dip could be at­trib­uted to the State Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to give a $2.50-a-tonne dis­count to iron ore min­ers that shipped prod­uct through Port Hed­land’s Utah Point ter­mi­nal.

Ex­port vol­umes dis­closed by Min­eral Re­sources and At­las Iron, the ter­mi­nal’s two big­gest users, in­di­cate the dis­count cost the PPA up to $52 mil­lion for the fi­nan­cial year.

The State Gov­ern­ment took $100.5 mil­lion in div­i­dends from its op­er­a­tions, partly based on the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year’s $198.9 mil­lion af­ter-tax re­sult. In 2014-15, the PPA paid $164.5 mil­lion.

The re­sult is likely to heighten ten­sions in the de­bate over whether the Utah Point ter­mi­nal should be sold. State Par­lia­ment re­turns on Oc­to­ber 11.

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