North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) has announced that it has made a request to the Queensland Coordinator-General to cancel the declaration of the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals Project as a coordinated project.
In 2013, the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) studies were paused by the preferred developers as demand for the new terminals was reassessed after an industry-wide downturn in the coal market.
Although NQBP has completed numerous environmental and social studies for the EIS, all of the required studies had not been completed when the project was paused. Legislation requires the EIS to be submitted within two years of the publication of the Terms of Reference, which in the case of the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals Project is by 21 June 2014 and this will not be achieved because of the pausing of the project.
“Although this particular development proposal will be withdrawn, it does not necessarily indicate that expansion to the coal export facilities will not be required at the Port of Hay Point in the future,” said Brad Fish, CEO of NQBP.
“Those interested in port development must demonstrate demand and current and short-term forecast market demand for coal does not support an expansion to the capacity proposed in the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals Project,” said Mr Fish.
On 27 October 2011, the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals Project was declared a coordinated project under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (“SDPWO Act”), with assessment required by preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The Terms of Reference for the EIS were approved by the Coordinator-General on 21 June 2012.
NQBP has undertaken a strategic review of the project and has advised the Coordinator-General that it proposes to cancel the declaration of this project as a coordinated project under the SDPWO Act as there is no firm date to recommence the existing Dudgeon Point project proposal.
In seeking cancellation of the declaration of the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals Project as a coordinated project, it is NQBP’s intention to complete a port master planning exercise over the coming year to comply with the proposed Queensland Ports Strategy and to then revisit the scope of the Dudgeon Point project. Recent strategic assessments of the Great Barrier Reef will be considered as part of the port planning.
“Coal export facilities may be required at Dudgeon Point in the future. With appropriate environmental and social planning and approval conditions, any future expansion of Port of Hay Point can make a sustainable contribution to the economic growth and social well-being of Queensland,” said Mr Fish.