AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Newcastle gets vessel queue breakthrough

<p>Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) has won permission to introduce a booking system to reduce the coal vessel queue off Newcastle.</p> <p>The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC has granted interim authorisation to introduce he plan while it further considers the merits of the application.</p> <p>"Granting interim authorisation allows Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) to implement the plan, which essentially reduces the amount each producer can export through the port on a pro rata basis so that the overall amount handled by the port better matches the amount that can be delivered by the rail system," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.</p> <p>Interim authorisation means PWCS can start the system while ACCC undertakes a more detailed consideration of the proposal’s merits.</p> <p>The commission said it recognised that the present situation was "urgent" and that the present queue resulted in substantial costs to the industry.</p> <p>"The ACCC is also satisfied that the plan proposed by PWCS will not result in any less coal being moved through the port than would be the case otherwise without the plan," Mr Samuels said.</p> <p>Mr Samuels said that some small coal producers and traders had opposed PWCS’s application. However they have not been able to provide the commission with "persuasive reasons" why they would be disadvantaged.</p> <p>"In particular, they have not made it clear why they would be able to export more coal through the port without the plan, and with the vessel queue persisting, than they would be able to export with the plan," the ACCC said.</p> <p>ACCC will continue to consult the parties to reach a final decision, it said.</p> <br />