Dredging, diving, scaffolding and repairs continue at Australia’s largest coal port this week after heavy rain and winds closed the port in April, causing the biggest export slump for eight years.
“For most vessels it’s business as usual,” a port spokesperson told IHS Maritime. “The port is fully operational.”
However, the port has deployed additional resources for surveying and dredging to remove additional silt caused by the Hunter River flooding.
“While this work will be ongoing over the coming months, it is important to note there are no loading restrictions in place,” she said.
Last week, the port duty pilot classified the harbour as “moderate with restricted passage in and out”. All restrictions were lifted on 6 May but work from boats and scaffolding was continuing. The ship loader was extended 20 m from the wharf and vessels were advised to navigate with caution.
McCloskey’s Newswire today reported recovery from the severe weather had worsened congestion at Newcastle terminals this week with ship queues at the PWCS and NCIG facilities topping 50.
A spokesperson for PWCS told IHS Maritime most of the delays were the result of storm damage to the rails preventing coal deliveries. Stockpiles had been exhausted.
“The Mid North Coast rail line was due to open this weekend (9 May, a week earlier than expected), allowing coal from Yancoal mines access to the terminals,” McCloskey reported.
In Queensland, congestion levels remained light, although maintenance was still a factor at Gladstone and Abbot Point.