CHANGING TIMES: Gladstone Ports Corporation's fortnightly container service started in August and will help diversify the company.
CHANGING TIMES: Gladstone Ports Corporation's fortnightly container service started in August and will help diversify the company.

GPC annual report forecasts record coal year ahead

AFTER a year of "constrained" exports, the Gladstone Ports Corporation expects a record 12 months ahead, buoyed by a boost in the coal industry.

The organisation's annual report revealed its exports from Gladstone, Rockhampton and Bundaberg dropped to 120.2 million tonnes during 2017-18, partly because coal shipments dropped.

It said port trade was "slightly constrained" by supply chain challenges, mine ownership changes and weather disruptions.

There were 67.2million tonnes of coal shipped from the Port of Gladstone, mainly from RG Tanna Coal Terminal, compared to 68.9Mt last financial year.

The report noted it expects record coal exports next year.

Gladstone Ports Corpoation CEO Peter O'Sullivan speaks to media about the discovery of elevated levels of PFAS in Gladstone's port.
Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive officer Peter O'Sullivan expects 2018-19 to be a record year for coal exports. Matt Taylor GLA070618PFAS

"GPC remains positive that thermal and metallurgical coal will remain stable into the future, particularly with new mine prospects emerging," the report said.

Chief executive officer Peter O'Sullivan expects coal tonnage for 2018-19 to increase to about 74.6Mt.

"With coal prices anticipated to remain steady over the coming year, we are hopeful this may stimulate further mining developments and in turn, coal export growth," he said.

Meanwhile the port expects another consecutive increase to LNG exports, after global shipments from Curtis Island rose to 20.3Mt.

Despite shipping fewer cargoes, the company paid its highest taxes and dividends in recent years, $102.9million.

It's annual taxes totalled $40.7 million and a $61.9 million dividend was paid to the State Government.

Mr O'Sullivan said last year's contribution took its five-year total of taxes and dividends to $869.45 million. Its revenue rose to $483.1 million during 2017-18.

The company expects to further diversify its trade this year, including in bulk liquids, containers and general cargo.

The report detailed coming developments with a highlight being East Shores Stage 1B including a ferry pontoon with a pool, an outdoor deck chair theatre, a cafe, yoga platform and an outdoor exercise centre.

2018-19 initiatives: 

  • The finalised Priority Port of Gladstone Master Plan is expected to be released in 2018-19. A draft plan was released for public consultation from August 28, 2017 to October 9, 2017.
  • GPC board said it is focused on the delivery of East Shores Stage 1B.
  • The draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Gatcombe and Golding Cutting Channel Duplication is expected to be released for public consultation this financial year. The project is part of the Port of Gladstone's 50-year strategic plan and includes widening the channels to create a safe two-way vessel passage.
  • GPC will continue to investigate options to progress Port Access Rd Stage 2. The project would extend the existing passage from Port Central to Glenlyon Rd by 2.5km to Blain Dr.
  • Create an education program to promote the Port of Gladstone as a world-class commercial harbour and sustainable fishing centre.