AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Dalrymple Bay looks to supply chain gains to shorten bulker queue

<p>Ship arrivals beyond the contracted capacity of the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) has pushed the vessel queue past 40 bulkers, a spokesman for the terminal’s leaseholder Prime Infrastructure said.</p> <p>Prime Infrastructure general manager of operations Greg Smith said 48 vessels this morning (Tuesday, February 15) were either queuing at the port &#8211 which also includes ships waiting for the adjacent Hay Point coal terminal &#8211 or on the berths.</p> <p>Of these, about 40 vessels are for DBCT and the waiting time is presently about 24 days, he said.</p> <p>Mr Smith said the queue was a result of more ships arriving than the terminal’s contracted port capacity.</p> <p>"It may even be above mine capacity, but at US$125 a tonne, who’s going to turn them away," he said. "Even if they cop $US5 in demurrage, it still makes sense to accept that."</p> <p>Hard coking coal is thought to be selling for US$125 a tonne, with some reports of $US130 a tonne. Both PCI (Pulverised Coal Injection) coal and thermal coal are also commanding high prices, at around US$100 a tonne and US$70 a tonne respectively, Mr Smith said.</p> <p>DBCT has a contracted port capacity of 56.82m tonnes a year, but following the collapse and loss of a reclaimer machine that figure has dropped to between 53m and 54.5m tonnes.</p> <p>Ship arrivals are now running at 59m tonnes a year. And the problem is being exacerbated by the coal chain presently delivering only 51m tonnes a year to the DBCT gate, Mr Smith said.</p> <p>It was unclear why this was the case but all parties &#8211 DBCT mines and Queensland Rail&#8211 were "working cooperatively" to get deliveries up to the terminal’s contracted capacity, he said.</p> <p>Prime is also expecting to have its new reclaimer operational in January 2006. </p> <br />