Located 25 km north-west of Bowen on Queensland’s north coast, Abbot Point is placed between the existing industrial centres of Townsville to its north, and Mackay to its south. It is also adjacent to the Abbot Point State Development Area (APSDA), a 16,320 hectare site for dedicated industrial development.
Abbot Point has currently one operating terminal, Adani Abbot Point Terminal (AAPT or T1). T1 was acquired by the Adani Group by way of a long term lease from the Queensland Government on 1 June 2011. T1 is operated by Abbot Point BulkCoal (APB) under a long term Operations and Maintenance Agreement that was acquired by Adani as part of the sale from NQBP. APB is a controlled subsidiary of Glencore.
The Port of Abbot Point has a nominal export capacity of 50 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). It comprises rail in-loading facilities, coal handling and stockpiling areas and a single trestle jetty and conveyor connecting to two offshore berths and two shiploaders, all 2.8 km offshore. Coal is currently supplied to T1 by rail from the Newlands, Collinsville and Sonoma mines and a number of Bowen Basin customers such as BMA. The port is currently serviced by tugs based in Bowen and operated by Bowen Towage Service. This is a joint venture between APB and Switzer.
REPORTS & PLANS
TERMINAL 0 (T0) DEVELOPMENT SITE – ADANI
Since obtaining a 99-year lease of the X50 Abbot Point Coal Terminal, Adani identified the need to increase terminal capacity. NQBP has been working with Adani to assist in the facilitation of their T0 development. Adani obtained approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) for the T0 Terminal which provides for an ultimate capacity expansion of 70 Mtpa. The T0 terminal will support the development of Adani’s Carmichael Coal mine.
Adani also has an Indigenous Land Use Agreement in place with the Juru people to support the development of the terminal while managing cultural heritage requirements. It includes the ultimate development of two inloading and outloading streams comprising dump stations, conveyors, stockpiles areas, stacker reclaimers, jetty, wharves, shiploaders and the dredging of berth pockets. The initial stage has a capacity in the order of 35 Mtpa and consists of developing one inloading and outloading steam, along with the required base infrastructure.
The Department of State Development (DSD) is presently completing the Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project which will cover the dredging approvals for the T0 terminal. Approximately up to 1.1 million cubic metres is required to be dredged to allow for capesize vessels to service the terminal. Further details on the Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project are provided under this section. Adani is presently working to finalise all approvals in relation to their port, rail and mine projects. Further information can be obtained from Adani
TERMINAL 3 (T3) DEVELOPMENT SITE – GVK
Following a public Expression of Interest Process (EOI), NQBP entered into a Framework Agreement with Hancock Coal for the development of coal terminal facilities at the T3 site at Abbot Point. Hancock Coal has been the Preferred Developer of T3 since April 2010. It is planning to export 60 Mtpa through the terminal at its ultimate capacity with an initial stage likely to be 30 Mtpa. Hancock Coal has on-sold the majority of the project to Indian entity, GVK-Hancock.
GVK-Hancock has approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) for the T3 terminal development with a total approved capacity of 60 Mtpa. Similar to the T0 development, the T3 terminal includes two inloading and two ouloading streams comprising dump stations, conveyors, stockpiles areas, stacker reclaimers, jetty, wharves, shiploaders and dredging of berth pockets.
ABBOT POINT GROWTH GATEWAY PROJECT
NQBP is working closely with the State Government (Department of State Development (DSD)) who is currently progressing the approvals for the dredging associated with the Adani T0 project. The project involves dredging approximately 1.1 million cubic metres of uncontaminated seabed material and pumping the clean dredge material into onshore containment ponds, before returning the sea water back offshore. On 17 April 2015, the Queensland Government lodged an application with the Commonwealth Department of Environment to begin the approval process for the Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project.
This figure (courtesy of DSD) shows the location of the dredging and the onshore containment ponds. The Commonwealth Government has considered this application under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and determined that a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required for the project. As part of this process, the draft Environmental Statement is available online, and the State Government is now inviting public comment on this information. Visit the Department of State Development’s website to comment on the EIS.
Following finalisation of the approval stage by DSD (EPBC and State approvals) and confirmation of the Adani T0 project proceeding, including their funding of the dredging works, NQBP will progress with the construction of containment ponds followed by dredging. Visit the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning’s website for further information about the first stage of expansion of the AP-X Project, including a concept plan.
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is undertaking a project to renew and revitalise the marine offloading facility (MOF) at the Port of Abbot Point, near Bowen in Queensland. The Abbot Point MOF Renewal Project is part of NQBP’s commitment to sustainable development across all of its north Queensland ports, and aligns with the corporation’s strategy of active trade facilitation. Once completed, the project will improve emergency response capabilities, port operations and provide a multi-functional cargo offloading facility at the port. The construction phase of the $8.5 million project will provide contracting and employment opportunities in the local Bowen area and regional Queensland.
The MOF was originally approved and constructed in 1982 to provide access for outloading of bulk materials and break bulk cargo necessary for the construction of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal and has been utilised since that time for port operations including launching and mooring of light vessels, including emergency responses vessels, and for bulk materials delivery and outloading as required during various upgrades to the port facilities.
The existing facility now requires maintenance and renewal works to reduce ongoing maintenance and improve current port: operational safety, environmental performance, emergency response and efficiency of a number of operational activities. It will allow continued use of the facility for bulk materials and cargos access for both existing and future port operations.
The project includes:
- Maintenance and renewal of rock armour at the existing breakwater and causeway
- Replacement and minor amendment to alignment of the existing sheet pile wall
- Upgrade of existing beach based vessel launching to barge ramp
- Installation of mooring piles
- Installation of swing moorings
In addition, maintenance dredging of between 10,000 m3 and 30,000 m3 of material is required to restore the original seabed depths within the MOF and it is proposed to utilise the material for beach nourishment.
It is important to note the MOF is an existing, common-user facility. The upgrade works are independent of the proposed Adani T0 terminal development.
It is expected that maintenance dredging will be undertaken over a period of approximately 3-4 weeks. Maintenance dredging is required to remove accumulated seabed material and reinstate the original depth of the MOF at the time of construction, being approximately -3.0 m LAT. Maintenance dredging will likely be undertaken utilising a cutter suction dredger or a backhoe dredger, which comprises an excavator mounted on a floating barge. Maintenance dredging occurs on an as required basis and has only occurred twice at Abbot Point since the original development of the MOF in 1982. This level of frequency is expected to continue based on the current utilisation requirements of the facility.
The project will be undertaken in accordance with conditions of approval and management plans of existing State environmental permits covering the maintenance activities and dredging as well as beach nourishment. It is considered highly unlikely that the project will have a significant impact upon a matter of national environmental significance. The Abbot Point MOF Maintenance and Renewal project has been referred under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. The EPBC Act allows proponent to refer a project even if it is believed the action is not going to have a significant impact, so as to provide a greater level of certainty that Commonwealth assessment requirements have been met.
NQBP is currently proposing to undertake two separate actions relevant to the Abbot Point MOF:
- Beach Nourishment and Maintenance Dredging, subject of this referral; and.
- Maintenance and renewal Works, subject of a separate referral.
The actions are very different in terms of the nature of the proposed activities and the two actions are not considered to result in cumulative impacts to matters of national environmental significance. This assessment is supported by the extensive environmental studies completed in recent times at the port. Click here for further information in regard to the EPBC referrals.
The Queensland Government announced the MOF project as part of the State’s Accelerated Works Programme in January 2016. The proposed Maintenance and Renewal works are required to be undertaken as soon as practicable.
The existing facility requires maintenance to existing infrastructure to ensure it is able to function as a safe and efficient material offloading facility for upcoming works at the Port of Abbot Point which include the import of a replacement stacker reclaimer for the existing coal terminal (APCT-T1). These works are required to be commenced in June 2016 in order to meet the time frame of the delivery.
The proposed Beach Nourishment and Maintenance Dredging is proposed to be undertaken in 2016 or 2017. The timing of these works is constrained due to the available dredging window between April and October each year. The project is scheduled for completion by December 2016 and will be available for the import of large cargoes or similar activities in 2017.
Local contractors and construction companies can find more information about the project and procurement opportunities by emailing email@example.com.
NQBP is proud to support its local community in Bowen and surrounding areas. Through the Corporate Communities Program, NQBP has demonstrated its commitment by supporting the following local organisations and events:
Youth Street Art Project
NQBP supported a project organised by Miranda Reid through the Bowen Neighbourhood Centre called the ‘Dropped My Heart in Paint’ Youth Street Art Project.
The project involved a series of workshops over four weeks for participants. Ten electricity poles in Bowen situated on Williams Street and the footpath on Powell Street are now splashed with both colour and talent.
Bowen Sea Turtle Assessment and Rehabilitation
Queens Beach has long been documented as a well-known nesting site for sea turtles. In 2013-14, NQBP supported Bowen Sea Turtle Assessment and Rehabilitation Inc. (BSTAR) rescue and rehabilitation program by providing equipment such as standing mats, vet assistance and weight scales. In June, BSTAR released a 50-year old turtle named Elizabeth back to freedom after nursing her to health when she was found suffering from floating syndrome on Bowen’s Front Beach foreshore.
NQBP has also provided support to BSTAR to expand their rehabilitation facility by means of a new tank and shade shed.
Reef Guardian School Program – NQBP Grant
NQBP has provided a number of EcoPorts grants to schools in our port communities. The winning schools from the Bowen region have included St Mary’s School, Bowen State High School, Gumlu State School, Collinsville State High School, Merinda State School, Cannonvale State School, Bowen State School, Saint John Bosco Catholic School, Queens Beach State School and Kidz at the Beach.
NQBP is proud to help schools implement initiatives that support a healthy environment. For more information on this program, visit our Communities page.
Bowen Shire Festival of Murals
NQBP is proud to sponsor the Bowen Shire Festival of Murals to support the creation of more bright and colourful murals depicting the history of the town.
The society has brought the Centrepoint Plaza wall alive with a new mural painted by artist Glen Gillard. The painting continued the historic theme and depicts Bowen’s connections with shipping, in particular between the 1930s and 1970s.
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is committed to a sustainable and responsible environmental approach that seeks to, where possible, prevent, and always to reduce and manage its impact on the environment.
The Abbot Point Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) Report has been finalised following a public comment process. The Port of Abbot Point is an existing operating coal port located just north of Bowen in north Queensland. The CIA will help ensure that the Port of Abbot Point is designed and developed in a manner consistent with environmental best practice and considerate of the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.NQBP, Adani, BHP Billiton and GVK Hancock Coal came together to produce a consolidated assessment report that will provide comprehensive information to inform individual approval decisions at the port.
The report will also provide useful information to help guide future assessments at the port and also the strategic assessments underway across the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The final Cumulative Impact Assessment Report is a very large document and is available by downloading each chapter. Please note that this link takes you to an external site: https://file.ac/3ELxOyPcCHU/. A copy of the Submissions Report can be viewed by following this link to an external site: https://file.ac/jfk7IXQtewk/. The baseline technical reports which informed the CIA can be found in the section below.
Abbot Point Cumulative Impact Assessment Baseline Technical Reports
- 3D Dredge Plume Modelling
- Air Emissions
- Carbon Footprint and Climate Change Adaptation Assessment
- Coastal Processes and Hydrodynamics
- Underwater Noise Prediction from Port Development
- Construction Noise – Terrestrial
- Appendix A
- Appendix B
- Appendix C
- Appendix D
- Great Barrier Reef Shipping: Review of Environmental Implications
- Groundwater Assessment
- Marine Water Quality
- Visual Impact Assessment
- Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Natural Environment
- Wetland Hydrology and Water Quality
- Operational Noise – Terrestrial
- Potential Impacts of Coal Dust on the Marine Environment
- Potential Impacts of Port Development of Abbot Point on Fisheries
- Abbot Point Migratory Bird and Waterbird Survey
ABBOT POINT HISTORY
The Port of Abbot Point has a near 30-year history, growing from a 6.5 Mtpa capacity coal port to what is currently a 50 Mtpa coal export facility. Abbot Point now sits on the verge of an enormous expansion which would see it eclipse its current size, and position itself as a port of global importance.
- In 1981 the Queensland Government approved the development of deep water facilities for the export of 6.5 Mtpa of steaming and coking coal from the Collinsville and Newlands mines.
- The Port of Abbot Point came into operation on 25 February 1984.
- The facility was planned by Mimets Development Pty Ltd (a subsidiary of M.I.M. Holdings Limited) and was owned and administered by Harbours Corporation of Queensland. Operations were controlled by Abbot Point Bulkcoal Pty Ltd.
- Harbours Corporation of Queensland became Ports Corporation of Queensland in 1994 which became North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation in 2009.