AN EXTRAORDINARY period of growth over the past decade has cemented Gladstone Port's place as the fourth-highest coal exporting terminal in the world.
Coal exports since 2003 have grown exponentially - by a total of 34.1%.
Growth has occurred each year for the Gladstone Ports Corporation - exempting 2011 - with the largest increase occurring in 2013, at 7.28%.
Asia is dominating the coal demand.
Gladstone exports were shipped in immense amounts to Japan, China, India, Korea and Taiwan in respective order. In total, 643 vessels departed Gladstone Port with a total of 62.25million tonnes of coal.
Japan, at 19.8 million tonnes, took 31.8% of coal exports.
China followed closely behind, with 15.25 million tonnes of coal, the greatest increase since 2012, placing the global powerhouse at 24.47%.
Domestic exports from the Gladstone terminal accounted for a mere 0.17%.
The destinations of Taiwan, India, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Hong Kong and Pakistan represented declines in exports, with Pakistan reducing its amount by one third.
Gladstone Port serves many coal producers operating mines in Moura, Callide and the Bowen Basin coal field, including BHP Billiton, Ensham Resources, Anglo American, Yancoal, Glencore, Jellinbah Resources and Wesfarmers.
Rapid expansion of Gladstone Port has been the recurring trend of the past decade.
This will continue in coming years, with the first stage of a new terminal, Wiggins Island Coal Exports Terminal, predicted to be in operations stage by 2015.
The WICET website states that once fully commissioned, the multi-billion dollar industry-owned and privately funded terminal will provide more than 80million tonnes per annum in export coal capacity.
This will effectively double existing coal export capacity at the Port of Gladstone.
The new terminal will be built in stages to match forecast coal export demand.
Stage One will deliver 27million tonnes per year of export capacity.
Alumina came in as the second most exported material from Gladstone Port during 2013. A total of 131 vessels carried 4,778,209 tonnes of alumina.
- A 7.28% growth has been recorded between 2012 and 2013 for Gladstone Port.
- A total of 62,266,963 tonnes of coal departed Gladstone Port in 2013.
- Overall total exports numbered 69 million tonnes.
- Grand total transhipments equalled 88,847,782 tonnes.