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NCIG completes financing for port expansion

Construction of the second stage of the third coal export terminal in the Port of Newcastle will begin immediately following completion of finance arrangements.
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The first stage of the terminal, with export capacity of 30 mtpa is now in operation and was officially opened on 3 May 2010. The second stage of the terminal will boost capacity to 53 mtpa.

Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) chairman Michael Egan said the total finance package, sufficient to cover the expected project construction cost of A$900M, has been completed with a range of Australian and overseas financial institutions.

“The Board has given the immediate go-ahead for the construction of the second stage of the terminal to meet the export demands for coal from mines already in production, or about to start” he said.

The announcement means that coal export capacity at Newcastle is expected to increase to more than 180 mtpa by 2013, with potential for further expansion.

This next stage of works on the 136-hectare site includes a new rail unloading facility and rail sidings, an additional stacker/reclaimer and stockyards, additional conveyors and sample stations and an additional shiploader.

Funding for the expansion has built on the initial financing structure established in late 2007 and is supported by long-term throughput contracts.

NCIG was formed in 2004 to address fundamental capacity issues associated with coal handling facilities for regional coal exporters.

In April 2007 the New South Wales Government granted NCIG approval to construct the new coal terminal, with an ultimate capacity of up to 66 mtpa.

The members of the consortium are all significant coal producers who have projects to materially increase their coal production to be shipped through the new terminal.

Partners in the project include BHP Billiton (through Hunter Valley Energy Coal), Peabody Energy, Centennial Coal, Donaldson Coal, Yancoal and Whitehaven Coal.

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