Business

GPC breaks records with tonnage reaching 100 million

NEW WAVE: The arrival of LNG vessel Methane Rita Andrea last year signified the start of a booming export for the port.
NEW WAVE: The arrival of LNG vessel Methane Rita Andrea last year signified the start of a booming export for the port. Mike Richards GLALNGD

GLADSTONE Ports Corporation has broken all records with total tonnage for the 2014-15 financial year reaching 100 million tonnes.

Total tonnage for 2013-14 was 98.3 million, which in itself was a record for the growing port.

Corporation CEO Craig Doyle said the start-up of LNG trains on Curtis Island and the subsequent exporting of the liquefied natural gas played a big part in the year's result, with a total of 1.6 million tonnes shipped.

"We now have three LNG trains exporting, and by the end of this financial year we expect LNG tonnage alone will be over 10 million, so that will make a huge difference in the coming year."

While the coal industry has suffered a significant reduction in prices, the overall tonnage has hardly dropped, Mr Doyle said.

"Our total tonnage for the 2013-14 year was 69.6 million tonnes of coal, whereas this year it has been 68.5 million. However, Cyclone Marcia closed the Moura rail passage for a period of time. Had that not been the case we would have seen tonnage very similar to last year.

"The mines are producing more coal and selling it at a lower price to maintain profitability."

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal started exporting its first coal in April, and by the year end had contributed 464,000 tonnes to the total coal tonnage.

Volume increases have also been seen in bauxite, alumina, cement, nickel ore and calcite in the past year.

While tonnage has been at record levels, gross revenue and profits have reduced from the previous year, but only because of extraordinary items, said Mr Doyle.

"Revenue for the Western Basin dredging project skewed the figures in the previous year - and that was an in and out figure, so if you look at revenue from normal operations we were ahead."

It's a similar story with profit, where a major asset revaluation - a one-off adjustment - added to the 2013-14 profit levels. Once again, profit from normal operations enjoyed an increase.

Mr Doyle said highlights for the year included the completion of the new $30 million tug base adjacent to the RG Tanna Coal Terminal and also the opening of the popular East Shores development in November last year.

There was a significant decrease in the number of injuries of employees during the year, but Mr Doyle said the aim was to improve that position even more in the coming year.

PORT PERFORMANCE

Tonnage: 100 million

Revenue $452 million

Profit: $134.4 million

Dividends: $54.4 million

Topics:  exports, gladstone, gladstone ports corporation, mining, resource industry



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