Develop ports into logistics hubs that support regional growth
Our ports are critical gateways facilitating trade between Queensland and other parts of Australia, and the world. NQBP is committed to ensuring each of our ports is well equipped with the necessary infrastructure and facilities to allow us to maximise existing trade commitments, and to make way for future growth and demand, including new trade opportunities.
Develop Mackay’s property portfolio to include an integrated transport logistics and trade precinct
During 2015-16, the downturn in Mackay’s regional economy impacted lease renewals at the Port of Mackay; the property market within Mackay’s Paget Industrial Precinct underperformed, and the economic climate contributed to limited opportunities for new commercial operations to establish at the Port of Mackay.
In 2016-17, NQBP will continue to actively promote the benefits of commercial operations locating at the Port of Mackay, particularly as an integrated transport logistics and trade precinct.
Increasing trade through all the ports is a key focus for NQBP and the corporation will continue to pursue this in 2016-17.
Drive multi-modal investment and upgrades to marine, rail and road networks
NQBP is committed to working with key stakeholders to improve transport infrastructure and maximise port access.
Previously rated at 15.75 tonnes per axle load (tal), the Erakala to Mackay Harbour rail line and grain rail loop’s capacity at the Port of Mackay has been confirmed by Queensland Rail to be 20 tonnes tal, equating to a material improvement of 27 per cent, and allowing for an increase in the potential to haul cargo to and from the port. The line’s capacity now matches the main north coast rail line capabilities and these improvements will increase the potential future viability of trade-related rail transport to and from the Port of Mackay as an alternative to road transport. Port of Mackay users, Aurizon and Wilmar have also negotiated rail track upgrade works to support the railing of raw sugar from Wilmar’s Proserpine Mill to the port.
During the financial period, NQBP welcomed the inclusion of an upgrade and relocation of Vines Creek Bridge as part of the State Government’s Accelerated Works Program. The $28 million transport project will allow heavy vehicles to travel to and from the port, boosting economic activity.
In addition, NQBP will continue to work with a number of vessel operators to assess the viability of either a coastal shipping service or a liner service, involving Mackay.
Actively market the Port of Mackay
The Port of Mackay is an integral gateway to trade for the Mackay and Central Queensland region. NQBP’s commitment to grow the Port of Mackay, as a port with existing capacity for growth, will continue to be a key part of our work into the future.
In 2015-16, our strategic marketing and communication approach included developing editorial and advertisements for key industry publications, as well as factsheets for commercial opportunities and business summits.
NQBP also presented a flyover video of the port at a number of forums including the Resource Industry Network in Mackay and to clients and potential customers.
Oversized, overmass (OSOM) transport corridor
Extensive work has already been undertaken with relevant government agencies and industry representatives to optimise Mackay’s OSOM heavy vehicle transport corridor.
A significantly increased and cost effective travelling height envelope has been identified and NQBP will continue to work with Federal and State agencies (including Ergon Energy) to progress this initiative and secure the required funding.
Deliver a logistics improvement program to improve trade access to all ports
A key business effort during the period was to increase NQBP’s supply chain knowledge, particularly in the Mackay region.
A first draft of a supply chain map of the Central Queensland Region was completed during the year to identify natural trade catchments and the impact of supply chai constraints and government road upgrades on trade through NQBP ports.
The initial findings demonstrated that the trade catchment, based on current transport combinations, for Mackay encompasses the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions. Moving forward, emphasis will be on identifying and realising marine operating efficiencies (vessel size and capacity) as well as seeking further improvements to land transport developments.
Establish logistics support for the Amrun Project and live cattle trade at Port of Weipa
NQBP is pursuing opportunities to provide project and breakbulk cargoes needed to support the development of Rio Tinto’s Amrun Project. While the project was approved in November 2015, the construction phase is expected to continue over the next few years.
Planning and work around establishing logistics such as lease arrangement and approvals as well as identifying additional lay-down capacity within the strategic port land in Weipa is continuing.
NQBP is also working to identify further opportunities for growth at the port. A recent investigation into opportunities within the cattle industry in the Cape is underpinning discussions with local farmers and industry bodies around the viability of cattle trade through Weipa.
The Port of Weipa is located on the north-west coast of Cape York Peninsula and is a key strategic asset for the State. With more than 30 million tonnes per annum of product passing through the port each year (including bauxite, fuels and general cargo), the port is a critical gateway to Northern Australia.
Bauxite mined by Rio Tinto is the primary product exported through the Port of Weipa. Rio Tinto’s operations at the port include major onshore bauxite handling, processing and stockpiling facilities. Its conveyors run to two wharves, Lorim Point East and Lorim Point West for ship loading.
The total throughput forthe port for 2015-16 was 32,400,274 tonnes comprising 32,282,192 tonnes of bauxite, 72,123 tonnes of fuel and 45,959 tonnes of general cargo.
The Port of Weipa’s future value comes from its strategic importance for the State given its proximity to Asia.
In November 2015, Rio Tinto’s board announced the approval of the Amrun Project, which will see the development of its bauxite reserves south of the Embley River and new port facilities constructed at Boyd Point. This project is expected to commence production and export by mid-2019.
While in the short term NQBP is pursuing project and breakbulk cargoes needed to support the development of the Amrun Project, the corporation is also focusing on identifying tfurther opportunities at the port.
Other smaller bauxite and mineral sands projects with export potential through the Port of Weipa are in initial planning stages.
NQBP will continue to work with government agencies, industry and community groups to investigate opportunities to attract new trade to ensure the sustainable future of the port.
- Broadening the United States and or Australian Defence base as well as border protection
- Export of timber
- Live cattle trade
- Possible agricultural commodity exports with the sealing of the Port Development Road.
Performance and Achievements
Rio Tinto manages and operates the bauxite out-loading infrastructure for shipment to domestic and export markets and has continued to deliver improvements to the shipping and scheduling activities resulting in an increased throughput for the port. A total of 659 bulk carriers visited the port during 2015-16, an increase on the prior year. In March 2016, NQBP approved a Development Application associated with the Green Coast Resources Project (transhipment) and this is expected to provide additional throughput for up to five years.
In conjunction with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Weipa Town Authority and Rio Tinto, NQBP completed a new Evans Landing public boat ramp in December 2015. NQBP donated the land and committed an additional $600,000 to construct the boat ramp and pontoons. This project also delivered a 53 boat and car space bitumen car park, including concrete kerb and guttering and lighting for operational areas, to help improve the safety of port users accessing the facilities.
Both the US and Australian Airforce visited Weipa in May 2016 to better understand the port’s capability and view the available port infrastructure.
Dredge management remains a key focus for NQBP in Weipa. In July 2015, NQBP completed another successful dredge campaign in line with the stringent environmental guidelines, continuing to ensure safe navigable shipping corridors to and from the port.