Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has opened the new third berth at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Hay Point Coal Terminal, lifting export capacity from 44 to 55 Mt/y. Also attending the official ceremony were BHP Billiton President Coal, Mike Henry, and Mitsubishi Corporation COO, Mineral Resources Investment Division, Rick Tanaka. Work began on the $3 billion bulk handling project, near Mackay in Central Queensland, in 2010-11. BMA, a joint venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Development, owns and operates seven metallurgical coal mines in Central Queensland, Hay Point Coal Terminal and other infrastructure. The Hay Point Coal Terminal third expansion project (HPX3) involved construction of a new berth and ship-loader alongside the existing two berths. It also included the replacement of the existing jetty, trestle conveyors and surge bins and linking conveyors. The Premier said Queensland coal exports reached a new record in the last financial year of more than 219 Mt and it was pleasing to acknowledge the benefits of large infrastructure investments such as the Hay Point expansion, notwithstanding the challenging times faced by the coal sector. “I want to thank BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi for their confidence in the Queensland coal export market and their contribution to the Queensland economy, despite coal prices having declined markedly in recent years,” the Premier said. Henry said the recently completed terminal project reflected BHP Billiton’s confidence in the BMA business in Queensland and the long-term outlook for metallurgical coal. “BMA is the world’s largest exporter of seaborne metallurgical coal and employs 9,000 Queenslanders. The opening of the HPX3 project is a significant milestone.“Importantly, the increased capacity at HPX3 will enhance our ability to run an even more productive value chain. Through its design features, the project has also improved the Port’s ability to withstand significant weather events, improving the resilience of the BMA business and enhancing customer confidence in the reliability of supply from BMA and Queensland.” In consultation with government agencies the HPX3 project was developed and is operated in accordance with comprehensive environmental management strategies covering dust and noise generation and the marine habitat. New offshore facilities include the new Berth 3 and a new ship loader, two new trestle conveyors on a 1.9 km trestle and conveyors between Berths 1, 2 and 3. More than 1,000 Mt of coal have passed through Hay Point Coal Terminal since it was established in 1971.