Port feeds off Asian booms



THE booming Asian economies are having a positive flow-on effect for Gladstone's port productivity.

Central Queensland Ports Authority (CQPA) chief executive officer Leo Zussino said:

'China and India are driving a dramatic increase in demand for coal and demand is so strong that Gladstone's coal trade is expanding by a massive 25 million tonnes (Mt) over the next two years.'

This boom in the Asian market has increased the export demands for Australian natural resources and helped push along the much needed port expansions at CQPA.

Part of the long-term plan-ning of the CQPA to be able to meet this ever growing demand could also incorporate development on Curtis Island and while this would require more major industrial development, it is still under serious consideration.

'Hamilton Point is located on the south-west tip of Curtis Island and it has 12 to 16 metres of deep water less than 30 metres offshore, making it the only location in the harbour where there can be land- backed wharves for cape-size vessels,' Mr Zussino said.

Other developments that are defintely on the cards include the much anticipated Wiggins Island project.

Scheduled for completion in 2010, this project will add 20 million tonnes annually to coal exporting capacity and when fully completed, the facility will add 70 million tonnes to coal export capacity.

Recent developments have included the completion of Stockpile 17 in January this year, Stockpile 18 to be completed during April and Stockpiles 19, 20 and 21 are to be started during the second half of the year.

There are high expectations of CQPA to be able to meet this increasing coal export demand.

'The challenge for CQPA is to ensure port facilities can be developed to meet the needs of new and expanding industries,' Mr Zussino said.



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