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Macarthur Coal to divert exports to Abbot Point

<table width="423" border="0"> <tr> <td><p>Macarthur Coal is to export 750,000 tonnes of coal through Abbot Point to avoid the bottlenecks at Dalrymple Bay.</p> <p>Macarthur Coal’s managing director, Ken Talbot, said this would keep the company on track to meet its 4.5m tonne sales target for 2004&#4705. </p> <p>"In late 2004, it became necessary to supplement Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal port capacity to reduce the impact of congestion at the port and constraints on capacity increases in the foreseeable future," Mr Talbot said. </p><p>&nbsp</p><p>The coal will be moved along the coastal railway line, which has not been used for shifting coal in the past.</p> <p>The company has entered a one-year trial with Queensland Rail, which runs until the end of next February.</p> <p>Each train will carry less than 3,000 tonnes compared with more than 9,000 tonnes for an average trainload to Dalrymple Bay, the company said.</p> <p>The recent profit forecast for 2004&#4705 of $48 -$55m includes an estimate of the benefit of obtaining capacity at Abbot Point.</p> <p>Macarthur produces about 38% of seaborne global demand for low volatile PCI coal.</p> <p>Abbot Point is Australia’s most northern coal port, about 25 km north of Bowen in north Queensland.</p> <p>The Ports Corporation of Queensland has commissioned a master plan for the expansion of the terminal by up to 50m tonnes.</p> <p>Abbot Point started operations in 1984 and has not undergone any significant expansion since its original commissioning. Its capacity is about 15m tonnes.</p> <p>It is made up of a rail in-loading facility, coal handling and stockpile areas, and a single trestle jetty and conveyor connected to a berth and shiploader, 2.75 km offshore. </p> </td> </tr> </table> <br />