Newcastle port Terminal 4 approved - $5 billion expansion

Newcastle port Terminal 4 approved

1500 construction jobs & 80 full-time operational jobs for Newcastle T4 coal terminal

Newcastle port Terminal 4 has finally been approved after years of planning. Despite waning coal prices, the push to ramp up the Australian east coast coal port infrastructure continues forward.

The Planning Assessment Commission gave the ‘thumbs up’ after almost five years of discussion whether or not the Terminal 4 Project would go ahead.

The fourth coal export terminal in Newcastle, known as T4, is expected to increase coal capacity at the world’s largest coal export port by around 70 million tonnes per annum. The new terminal could cost Port Waratah Coal Services around$5 billion and create 1,500 construction jobs and 80 permanent coal jobs in NSW when completed.

Port Waratah CEO Hennie du Plooy said, “the world has changed since we originally lodged the application for Terminal 4 in 2010 and the need for extra coal export capacity is not so immediate”¯.

“Despite this, planning certainty will allow the industry to respond in good time if additional capacity is required,”¯ he said.

“The PAC`s determination also provides the community with certainty about the conditions that would apply to a development.”¯

The NSW Minerals Council were very happy about the Terminal 4 news,  calling the infrastructure approval a significant investment which would benefit and encourage the 10,000 plus Hunter Valley coal miners who rely on coal for their livelihoods.

The Hunter Valley Business Chamber also welcomed the announcement, with Chamber CEO Kristen Keegan saying the $5 billion T4 development gives some form of new assurances to the business community that coal is here to stay in the port of Newcastle area.

“Today`s approval of the T4 project is a positive move on behalf of the Planning Assessment Commission. It demonstrates an understanding of the need to be responsive to market demand into the future,”¯ Keegan said.

As usual, there are the local environmental groups challenging the development who have slammed the approvals, by hollering from the rooftops that it’s simply a “tick-a-box”¯ process.

The approval for T4 was not well received by The Coal Terminal Action Group (CTAG), the Correct Planning and Consultation for Mayfield Group and Climate Action Newcastle.

“It is disappointing to see that the NSW Government has made a decision out of line with markets and local sentiment,”¯ Australia Institute economist Rod Campbell added.

“The economic assessment of the T4 project was shown to be sorely lacking by the PAC`s own review, demonstrating the low standards of the economics consulting profession.

Unfortunately the NSW Government doesn`t seem to care about this latest round of coal industry dodgy economic modelling,”¯ he said.
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