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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable John Mickel

    Queensland’s largest Port Expansion Project on track

    Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable John Mickel

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Queensland’s largest Port Expansion Project on track

    The Abbot Point X25 Port Expansion Project remains on target for completion by end June 2009 increasing export capacity from 21 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 25 Mtpa.

    Ports Corporation of Queensland (PCQ) is also well underway with the second phase of expansion at Abbot Point (X50) to increase capacity to 50 Mtpa by 2011.

    “The expansion at Abbot Point secures Queensland as the world’s largest exporter of seabourne coal and is critical to the economy and wealth of Queensland,” Transport Minister John Mickel said during his visit to Abbot Point Port today.

    “PCQ ports are major contributors to the Queensland economy generating almost 4,400 jobs and contributing $1.14 billion to regional economies annually.”

    “Coal is one of Queensland’s most valuable export commodities, we currently export to 31 countries.

    “Recent forecasts by the Queensland Resources Council suggest that there will be a total demand of up to 235 million tonnes (Mt) by 2010 and Abbot Point will be well positioned to support future demands,” said Minister Mickel.

    PCQ’s expansion at Abbot Point comprises three projects totalling approximately $1 billion.

    The expansion includes the construction of a second berth located 2.9 kilometres off-shore that will involve the installation of approximately 9,500 tonnes of structural steel and a 2.9 kilometre conveyor along the jetty to transport the coal from the stockyard to the ships.

    Also under construction is a new shiploader which will allow a ship to be loaded with coal at a peak rate of 7,200 tonnes per hour.

    Over 120 workers will be employed during the construction of the X25 project, and up to 500 workers during the X50 Expansion Project.

    To accommodate the workforce required to expand the Port facilities, PCQ has built an accommodation village in Merinda.

    “It has been a priority of PCQ to ensure that the current housing and tourism industries in Bowen are not impacted by the accommodation requirement of the Abbot Point expansion program of works.

    PCQ is also committed to employing locally and contracting local business. Currently 40% of staff working on the project is from the local community. PCQ is also providing accommodation and resources for an Indigenous Employment Officer,” said Minister Mickel.

    The Merinda accommodation village can currently house 125 workers with full-bed capacity and facilities for 500 to be completed by March 2009.

    The village will include a Sewerage Treatment Plant that will cater for a population of 500 and which will be transferred to the Whitsunday Regional Council from PCQ at the end of works providing necessary infrastructure to foster growth opportunities for the Merinda area.

    Media contact: 3237 1125