Philip Clynes

Coal shipment arrives in Gladstone

GLADSTONE received its first shipments of coal yesterday, the first in more than two weeks.

The shipments arrived via the Moura train line which was partly re-opened Tuesday, however, the coal that arrived is only coal that was stowed midway when train lines where first cut by flooding two weeks ago.

The first coal shipment arrived in the early hours of yesterday morning bound for Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL).

“The refinery received a train load from Callide,” a QAL spokeswoman told The Observer, dismissing any rumours that the refinery is short of coal.

An Anglo-American spokesperson told The Observer a shipment of coal that was loaded before Christmas made it through to Gladstone yesterday.

“But that is just a standalone shipment,” the spokesperson said.

“There are no trains able to leave Callide due to rail lines being under water.

“That was one (coal train) that managed to get out earlier but was then cut-off due to flooding and because the water is now receding it was able to get through.”

The Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) has also confirmed they received two shipments of coal yesterday.

“Two shipments of coal arrived by train on the Moura train line,” a GPC spokeswomen said.

“However, this coal was stored prior to flooding. The GPC isn’t expecting any more at this time.”

It is estimated the GPC has less than 500 thousand tonne of coal on the ground, which is only enough to last the next 24 hours.

Due to the coal shortage, 20 coal ships are expected to be anchored off-shore by Friday with no answer as to when they will receive their orders of coal.

“We are in discussions with those coal companies who still have some coal stockpiled to gauge whether we can ship out their coal,” the GPC spokeswomen said.

On Tuesday, the Queensland Resources Council said flooding across Central Queensland has cost the state’s coal industry an estimated $1 billion in lost production, and yesterday the GPC estimated the cost to the government-owned coal terminal will run into the millions.

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