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Australia's Abbot Point coal terminal to reopen end week after Cyclone Debbie

Sydney — Abbot Point Coal Terminal in the Australian state of Queensland is expected to reopen by the end of the week after weather related to Tropical Cyclone Debbie forced its closure last week, a spokesman for operator Adani told S&P Global Platts Monday.

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Abbot Point port was closed last Tuesday last week in preparation for the cyclone, and vessels were given the OK to return to anchorage from the outer reef last Thursday, North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation said.

Once reopened, exports of coal via Abbot Point will still likely be impeded as the coal rail system that connects it to mines in the region is expected to remain closed for the next 2-3 weeks.

Also read: Situation room: Cyclone Debbie hits world’s metallurgical coal capital

The rail system, Newlands, which closed at 12:00 AEST last Tuesday, has a significant number of sites that have sustained minor damage, but there are no reports of major damage, operator Aurizon said Monday.

A spokesman for coal miner Glencore said export volumes from Abbot Point will be "significantly impacted" as a result of the rail system closure.

The Abbot Point Coal Terminal has a shipment capacity of 50 million mt/year. In February, it shipped its lower monthly volume of coal in 35 months at 1.79 million mt, down 1.92% year on year and down 13.73% month on month, NQBP data showed.

The Newlands system was linked to Aurizon's Goonyella Coal Rail System -- which is expected to remain closed for five weeks -- to provide Central Queensland Coal Network users with the flexibility with access Abbot Point.

Aurizon's major customers that use the Newlands system include Glencore, Jellinbah Resources and QCoal.

--Nathan Richardson, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@spglobal.com