Gladstone Ports Corporation has reached 100 million tonnes, breaking all records with total tonnage for the 2014-15 financial year, beating the 2013-14 record of 98.3 million tonnes.
Chief executive officer Craig Doyle said the start-up of LNG trains on Curtis Island and the subsequent exporting of the liquefied natural gas played a big part in the year’s result, with a total of 1.6 million tonnes shipped.
“We now have three LNG trains exporting, and by the end of this financial year we expect LNG tonnage alone will be over 10 million, so that will make a huge difference in the coming year.”
Mr Doyle said, while the coal industry has suffered a significant reduction in prices, the overall tonnage has hardly dropped.
“Our total tonnage for the 2013-14 year was 69.6 million tonnes of coal, whereas this year it has been 68.5 million. However, Cyclone Marcia closed the Moura rail passage for a period of time. Had that not been the case we would have seen tonnage very similar to last year.
“The mines are producing more coal and selling it at a lower price to maintain profitability.”
In April, Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal started exporting its first coal and by the end of the year, it had contributed 464,000 tonnes to the total coal tonnage.
While tonnage has been at record levels, gross revenue and profits have reduced from the previous year, but only because of extraordinary items, said Mr Doyle.
“Revenue for the Western Basin dredging project skewed the figures in the previous year – and that was an in and out figure, so if you look at revenue from normal operations we were ahead.”
It’s a similar story with profit, where a major asset revaluation – a one-off adjustment – added to the 2013-14 profit levels. Once again, profit from normal operations enjoyed an increase.
Mr Doyle said highlights for the year included the completion of the new $30 million tug base adjacent to the RG Tanna Coal Terminal and also the opening of the popular East Shores development in November last year.