Shen Neng 1 to on move Saturday
The Shen Neng 1 will be moved from the Gladstone coast on Saturday and make its way to Hervey Bay.
Currently sitting about five nautical miles off the coast, the Chinese coal carrier will head south on Saturday night, weather permitting.
Initially the plan was to bring the ship into the Gladstone Port, but this was aborted due to safety issues.
A Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) spokesperson said contrary to reports the Shen Neng 1 was not sinking.
"Experts have been consulted about the structural integrity of the vessel, and the move would not be proceeding if there was any doubt," the spokesperson said.
"The priority is protecting the environement and the safety of people involved in the operation."
"The main objective is to get the ship out of Australian waters and returned to China."
After the ship arrives in Hervey Bay, the task of unloading a portion of the coal on board will commence.
The ship left a 3km scar on the Douglas Shoal in April, after running aground in April.