SHIPPING IT OUT: The Port of Gladstone exported 58 million tonnes of coal, an increase of 3 per cent on 2008.
SHIPPING IT OUT: The Port of Gladstone exported 58 million tonnes of coal, an increase of 3 per cent on 2008.

Coal port chalks up record year

THE Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) has announced a record throughput of more than 81 million tonnes in 2009.

Chief executive Leo Zussino said the port was moving from strength to strength and these figures were an indication of that.

“This is the first year the port has broken through the 80 million tonnes of export per annum,” Mr Zussino said.

“2009 was a year of milestones, with records broken not only in coal exports but also in grain exports.”

Mr Zussino said total grain exports for 2009 exceeded 486,000 tonnes.

“This record was achieved through an increase in wheat and sorghum exports as well as an increase in chickpeas and cottonseed exports, Mr Zussino said.

“In 2008 total grain exports were just over 196,000 tonnes.”

Mr Zussino added that a bumper grain crop in 2009 was the reason for the massive increase in grain exports through the port.

“Coal exports also exceeded previous years,” Mr Zussino said.

“Last year the port exported over 58 million tonnes of coal, an increase of 3 per cent on 2008. This increase was managed despite the global economic downturn in the early half of 2009.”

Mr Zussino said GPC employees had stepped up a level to ensure the port smoothly managed the increase in coal demand as the year progressed.

“GPC is continually improving the way things are done at the port and implementing improvements in the way the port handles coal exports.”