Carrington Coal Terminal

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Carrington Coal Terminal is one of two terminals at the coal export facility operated by Port Waratah Coal Services Limited (PWCS) at the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

In addition to the Carrington terminal, PWCS also operates the Kooragang Coal Terminal on the other side of the South Channel of the Hunter River. Each terminal includes equipment for delivery and storage of coal to the terminal, and for loading the coal onto transport vessels.


The Carrington Coal terminal is located at the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. It is part of the Hunter Valley Coal chain, a chain of coal delivery from mines in the Hunter Valley to the Port of Newcastle. It can accept either road or rail coal deliveries. The port of Newcastle is the world's largest coal export port.

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Project Details

  • Owner: Port Waratah Coal Services
  • Location: Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • Annual Capacity (Tonnes): 25 million of coal[1]
  • Status: Operating
  • Start year: 1976
  • Type: Exports
  • Coal source: Mines in the Upper Hunter Valley and the Gunnedah Basin, Australia


The Carrington coal terminal was established in 1968 and began operating in 1976 with an initial shiploading capacity of 16 million tonnes per year. It has grown to an annual capacity of 25 million tonnes. The terminal has berth space for two vessels up to a maximum of 180,000 dwt, with two shiploaders operating at 2500 tons per hour.[2][3][4]

In 2017, the Carrington terminal operated at just 70 per cent of its 25 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) capacity.[5]

In 2020, Port Waratah Coal Services stockpiled, blended and loaded 105.9 million tonnes of coal onto 1192 vessels for export,, with 15.5Mt at Carrington Coal Terminal and 90.4Mt at Kooragang Coal Terminal.[6][7]

Proposal to close the terminal

In February 2018, a draft plan developed by Newcastle City Council and the Department of Planning flagged the option of closing the Carrington coal export terminal by 2024 and shifting its operations to the Kooragang Coal Terminal, which has a capacity of 120 Mtpa. Relocation would enable redevelopment of the Carrington Coal Terminal site for residential areas and a proposed cruise terminal, and would cut air pollution levels in the city--a move supported by many local residents.[5]

In September 2020, Port of Newcastle has been urged not to renew Port Waratah Coal Services’ lease on the Carrington Coal Terminal after it expires in 2024. It follows the release of one research report that found that the economic benefits of the Carrington site to Port of Newcastle and Port Waratah Coal Services would decline each year in line with a forecast decline in the coal industry. And the economic benefits from alternative uses and consolidation of coal operations would grow significantly.[8]

Direct Action against Carrington coal terminal

Australia Climate Camp stops coal trains

On July 13, 2008 approximately 1000 activists stopped three trains bound for export at the Carrington coal terminal for almost six hours. Dozens of protesters were able to board and chain themselves to the trains while others lay across the tracks. Hundreds were held back by mounted police. Police arrested 57.[9]

On July 14, 2008, five activists stopped coal loading at the Kooragang coal terminal for more than two hours by chaining themselves to a conveyor belt. Later that afternoon four protesters padlocked themselves to the tracks at the Carrington coal terminal, stopping all train traffic until police were able cut the group free. All nine were arrested.[10]

The direct actions, organized as part of the Australian Camp for Climate Action, were an attempt to bring worldwide attention to coal's role in climate change and the expansion of Australian coal exports.[11]



  1. "Carrington Coal Terminal", Port Waratah Coal Services, accessed September 2021.
  2. "Carrington Coal Terminal", Port Waratah Coal Services website, accessed January 2015.
  3. "Facilities", Newcastle Port Corporation website, accessed January 2015.
  4. "Port Master Plan 2040" page 15, Port of Newcastle, October 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Joanne McCarthy, "Port Waratah Coal Services is 'very surprised and concerned' about future plans for Newcastle," The Herald, Feb 28, 2018.
  6. "Overview of our operations", Port Waratah Coal Services, accessed August 2021.
  7. "Sustainability Report 2020" page 42, Port Waratah Coal Services, accessed August 2021.
  8. "Port of Newcastle urged not to renew Port Waratah Coal Services’ lease on the Carrington Coal Terminal", Port News, September 7, 2020.
  9. "Protest halts coal train for six hours", The Sydney Morning Herald, July 14, 2008.
  10. "More coal protest arrests at Newcastle", Business Spectator, July 14, 2008.
  11. "Time for Action! People take action to halt coal exports", Camp for Climate Action, Australia website, accessed December 2008.

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