Complex planning delays an obligation

PORT Waratah Coal Services is contractually obligated to deliver the Terminal 4 coal-loader by 2015 and that is still the plan, chief executive Hennie du Plooy says.

Speculation grew about the future of T4 when PWCS announced last week the first coal to pass through the new terminal would be more likely to happen in mid-2017, as opposed to the predicted date of 2015.

Mr du Plooy said yesterday that 2015 was still the preferred option, but a complex planning process and technical complexities had the potential to delay construction of the $5billion Kooragang Island project.

‘‘PWCS is not pausing or in any way slowing down the Terminal 4 project,’’ Mr du Plooy said.

‘‘We continue to do everything possible to deliver the project as expeditiously as possible and our goal remains to have coal moving in 2015.

‘‘We have clarified to the industry that we are now at a level of detail where we can better predict when first coal might move through T4.’’

Mr Du Plooy said the difficulties meant PWCS would seek a review of the long-term commercial framework agreement it signed with Newcastle Port Corporation.

But he stressed that take-or-pay contracts had been signed with most of the 16 coalmining companies in the Hunter and PWCS was obligated to deliver the project as soon as possible.

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