The Port of Abbot Point is one of Australia’s most significant emerging bulk ports and is undergoing a major transformation into a port precinct of global importance. Abbot Point is located 25 kilometres north of Bowen, at the northern end of the Galilee and Bowen coal basins.
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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.

In September 2016, Glencore agreed to sell the shares in APB to Adani’s Abbot Point Operations Pty Ltd (APO). APB continue to operate and maintain the Abbot Point Coal Terminal after the share sale, under Adani’s ownership.

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 supplied to T1 by rail and services customers in the Newlands and Collinsville area and a number of Bowen Basin mines. The port is currently serviced by tugs based in Bowen and operated by Bowen Towage Services

NQBP owns and operates the newly refurbished Marine Offloading Facility (MOF), located just to the south of the existing Terminal 1. This important infrastructure is a common-user, multi-functional facility and will allow for safe and efficient operations, including the delivery of a replacement stacker reclaimer for the existing coal terminal (APCT-T1).

The construction portion of stage one for the renewal project was completed in February . Maintenance dredging and beach nourishment, to allow for increased barge movements at the site, is scheduled for the approved dredging window of April to November, 2017. To learn more about the project, see below under Current Projects.

ANNUAL THROUGHPUT

2015-16

27,053,965

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PORT THROUGHPUT

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CURRENT PROJECTS

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. Further information is available 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.

This figure (courtesy of GVK-Hancock) details the proposed layout for the ultimate T3 development.  A new approval for the dredging associated with the T3 berths and aprons is still required to be progressed.

Further information can be obtained from GVK-Hancock.

ABBOT POINT GROWTH GATEWAY PROJECT AND TERMINAL 0

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation is committed to developing the Port of Abbot Point in a responsible and sustainable manner.

The Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of seabed and placing it to vacant industrial land at the port, next to the existing coal terminal.

The will allow for the future expansion of the port,which could lead to the incremental increase in capacity from 50 to 120 million tonnes per annum.

The Growth Gateway project received Commonwealth environmental approval on 21 December 2015 with 29 strict environmental conditions.

The full list of environmental conditions can be found here.

In addition to this approval, the project has received key state government approvals for the onshore construction works and the dredging works offshore. These approvals are subject to 28 and 68 conditions respectively to protect the environment.

The project is funded by Adani and will proceed when Adani progresses its port, rail and mine project.

The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project (EPBC2015/7467) which addresses matters of national environmental significance, is available here.

In addition to this approval, the project has received key state government approvals for the onshore construction works and the dredging works offshore. These approvals are subject to 28 and 68 conditions respectively to protect the environment.

The Terminal 0 Project will support the development of Adani’s Carmichael Coal mine. The Initial stage has a capacity in the order of 35 mtpa.

The T0 site, adjacent to the existing T1 site, will potentially have the ability to cater for coal from other Bowen Basin mines.

The construction of the T0 expansion at Abbot Point will involve the onshore construction of rail in-loading facilities, coal handling and stockpiles in areas with low environmental sensitivity.

Conveyors will connect these facilities to two new ship loading berths around 3km offshore. This provides for marine safety while ensuring a good environmental outcome.

Marine Offloading Facility (MOF)

Marine Offloading Facility

Introduction

NQBP has undertaken a project to renew and revitalise the marine offloading facility (MOF) at the Port of Abbot Point. The Abbot Point MOF Maintenance and 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. The refurbished MOF will improve emergency response capabilities, port operations and provide a multi-functional cargo offloading facility at the port.

Overview

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 required maintenance and renewal works to 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.

Maintenance dredging

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.

Environment

NQBP is committed to sustainable and responsible environmental management.

The Abbot Point MOF Maintenance and Renewal Project is being managed under strict environmental controls, associated with relevant State and Commonwealth permitting requirements, which cover maintenance activities, dredging and beach nourishment.

The project was referred to the Commonwealth Department of Environment (DoE) for consideration against the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). In May 2016 the DoE determined that the project was not a controlled action under the EBPC Act if undertaken in accordance with the management and mitigation measures detailed in the project referrals. NQBP will continue to manage all works in line with our permit requirements and NQBP’s environment policy, which outlines our commitment to the protection of the environment and to the sustainable management of our ports and activities.

Timing

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.

Stage 1 of the project was completed in February 2017. The proposed Maintenance Dredging and Beach Nourishment is proposed to be undertaken in 2017 with the timing of these works constrained due to the available dredging window between April and October each year.

COMMUNITY

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:
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North Head Lighthouse restoration

On the year of its 150th birthday, a major restoration project took place on Bowen’s North Head Lighthouse. NQBP was a proud major sponsor of the overhaul project which included removal of the dome by helicopter to be sent south to Brisbane by road for restoration.

The community inspired project was completed by a team of dedicated volunteers determined to restore what is believed to be the third oldest lighthouse in Queensland back to its former glory.

NQBP joined Whitsunday Regional Council and the Bowen community to contribute $15,000 to the project through a Sustainable Partnership Grant.

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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.NQBP has also provided support to BSTAR to expand their rehabilitation facility by means of a new tank and shade shed.In 2016, NQBP was proud to assist with the release of Penny back into her natural habitat after spending more than a year in Townsville’s Reef HQ.BSTAR plays and essential role in helping turtles survive by providing emergency care and treatment to sick or injured turtles.

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Bowen Colour Xplosion

NPutting the fun back into a fun run, the inaugural Bowen Colour Xplosion was held in October 2016. NQBP was the major sponsor to help bring the event to town.

As the climax to four days of activities at the first Bowen Youth Festival, coordinated by Bowen PCYC, more than 300 people ran, walked and skipped their way around Mullers Lagoon before celebrating in an explosion of powdered colour.

The Bowen Colour Xplosion is set to be a popular event for many years to come.

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Bowen Superboats

The Bowen round of the Australian Offshore Superboat Championships is fast becoming a premier event for the region and NQBP has been a proud sponsor for the past three years.

Offering superviews of the Superboats from the Bowen Wharf, NQBP joins force with the Bowen PCYC to help spectators get up close to the action for a gold coin donation.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the action for yourself, planning for the 2017 event is already in the works for July 21-23.

ENVIRONMENT

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

To view copies of the following documents, please follow this link to an external site.
  • 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
  • Lighting
  • 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
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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.