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Lee questions whether 4th Newcastle coal terminal must go ahead

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Lee Rhiannon 13 Jun 2012

Port Waratah Coal Service (PWCS) in their public comments and public materials in support of the T4 proposal, have created the perception that they are legally obliged by and to the ACCC, via the Capacity Framework Arrangements (CFA), to build T4 once they have reached capacity shortfall of 145 million tonnes in take or pay contracts. PWCS asserts that they now have take-or-pay contracts totalling 176.6 million tonnes per year.

PWCS has not provided any detail or evidence of the contracts to support this claim. In 2011 coal exports out of Newcastle Port totalled just over 110 million tonnes and recent reports of falling coal prices put a question mark over the $176.6 million figure.

Under questioning from Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon in a recent budget estimates session, the ACCC revealed that they do not in any way track or assess whether a trigger to expand has been reached. PWCS has not provided any detail to the ACCC to confirm that the trigger has been reached and it appears that ACCC do not see the trigger as a legal obligation for the ACCC to enforce. 

Read more in this coverage from the Newcastle Herald.


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