May 31, 2018 Read More →

Australia: Developers Scrap Plans for Coal-Export Expansion in Newcastle

Sydney Morning Herald:

The $5 billion-plus Terminal 4 coal export expansion planned for Newcastle has been scrapped after demand for the fossil fuel failed to increase as expected.

Port Waratah Coal Services said on Thursday that it would allow a lease for the terminal – known as T4 – to lapse, signalling that the project would not go ahead.

Port Waratah’s two terminals, Carrington and Kooragang, last year exported 105 million tonnes of coal out of a combined capacity of 145 million tonnes, the company said in a statement.

Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, operator of the city’s third terminal, shipped about 60 million tonnes, helping make Newcastle one of the largest coal export centres in the world.

“With significant growth capacity available in the existing terminals, we do not expect that the conditions to support an investment of the large and long-term nature of Terminal 4 will be in place before the development approval lapses in September 2020,” Hennie du Plooy, chief executive of Port Waratah, said.

The company is understood to have sunk many millions of dollars into T4, a project that secured its original lease in 2009. The first stage envisaged a 25 million tonne per year terminal, with plans to expand that in the future to 70 million tonnes.

Jeremy Buckingham, Greens energy spokesman, said T4 becoming terminal was “wonderful news.”

“Reality is catching up with the great lie that we can continue to export coal in an age of climate change,” Mr Buckingham said.

The Greens called on the government “to develop a transition strategy away from coal” and the party would be making this a key election issue, he said.

John Mackenzie, a Newcastle City Councillor, also welcomed the T4 decision.

“From the outset the economics was against this, the science was against this and the community was against it but because of our broken planning system it was approved anyway,” Mr Mackenzie said.

“Communities are sick of being placed in limbo by a planning system which has no red lights and a Government who won’t show leadership by refusing new fossil fuel projects at the outset.”

More: Newcastle’s T4 coal port expansion scrapped as demand fails to rise

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