Australian state scales down Abbot Point coal port expansion

23 May 2012 (Last Updated May 23rd, 2012 18:30)

The state government of Queensland, Australia has scaled down its plans for an A$8.85bn expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, calling the proposal "unrealistic and undeliverable".

The state government of Queensland, Australia, has scaled down its plans for an A$8.85bn expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, calling the proposal "unrealistic and undeliverable".

The proposed expansion by BHP Billiton and Hancock, which was approved in December 2011 by the former Labor government, would have increased the current coal export capacity from 50 million to 385 million tonnes per year.

Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the previous plans for Abbot Point were unrealistic and undeliverable and the government is now focusing on what is doable.

"[The plans] were never going to come to reality," Seeney said.

The state government now plans to focus on the development of the T2 and T3 terminals and an extension of the existing T1 facility instead of building the multi-cargo facility (MCF), which would have created a total of nine terminals.

"We consider that expansion at Abbot Point should be incremental," said Seeney."Our focus on T2 and T3 is a more practical and efficient approach to expansion of infrastructure at Abbot Point."

The state-owned North Queensland Bulk Ports is managing the port while the current terminal is operated by a subsidiary of India-based Adani.