Bowen business buoyed by dredging decision

Posted December 22, 2015

Abbot Point coal export facilities near Bowen.

The port town of Bowen has welcomed an announcement that expansion at Abbot Point coal terminal has been given the green light.

Under review was a proposal to dredge 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which would then be disposed of on land.

The approval has been granted with strict conditions, the Federal Government said.

Abbot Point is located about 25 kilometres north of Bowen and about 400 kilometres from coal reserves in the Galilee Basin.

Hopes for another major port investment in the region had ballooned only to be deflated too many times said local real estate agent Tony Doyle.

“I couldn’t explain how terrible it has been for the town,” said Mr Doyle. “I’ve already had an email this morning asking for a $20 donation to fight the decision.”

“The town has been in limbo for so long. This is great news at Christmas.”

The dredging will start in March and sets the stage for a major expansion at the site led by Indian utilities and energy company Adani said Mr Doyle

The mining community has long been holding its breath for Federal Government approval on Adani’s  Carmichael coal lease in the Galilee Basin and associated rail investment.

There are plans to take 60mt of coal  year from the site near Clermont making it the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere.

Abbot Point currently handles around 30mt in total each year and Mr Doyle said the dredging expansion paved the way for massive infrastructure investment including jetty and ship loading facilities and further terminal development.

“It’s a big job,” he said. “It’ll employ hundreds of people from Bowen for along time under construction.”

Adani owns the T1 and T0 terminals at Abbot Point. The company last month announced a commitment worth tens of million of dollars to to revamp the ageing T0 facility.




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