Port expansion boosts exports



WHILE the world screams for more coal, work at the Port of Gladstone is well under way to try to help meet the demand. The Central Queensland Ports Authority (CQPA) is undertaking a $230 million expansion to lift coal export capacity to 65 million tonnes per annum.

Just as importantly for Gladstone, up to 450 jobs will be created during the construction phase, which is expected to last until mid-2007.

Crews are currently working on construction of the project's two additional stockpiles.

Preparation works for Stockpiles 17 and 18 started in January, with completion of Stockpile 17 expected by November this year.

Stockpile 18 is due for completion by February 2006.

A CQPA spokesperson said the expansion project involved an extension of the existing overhead conveyor stream to allow for the unloading of coal onto the new stockpiles.

It also involved construction of the reclaim tunnels beneath the stockpiles, and which allow for coal transfer onto the shiploading conveyor stream and construction of additional light towers.

Brisbane-based firm Albem Pty Ltd is responsible for the civil/structural while Gladstone firm Walz Construction will complete the structural- mechanical works.

It is expected the operational workforce will increase from 430 to 530 by 2010.



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