Newcastle Terminal 4

From Global Energy Monitor

Terminal 4 is a proposed coal terminal, as an extension of Kooragang Coal Terminal at the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. It is proposed by Port Waratah Coal Services, and would have an annual throughput capacity of 70 million tonnes.


The terminal is proposed for the Port of Newcastle, the world's largest coal export port, located in Newcastle.

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The proposal is for a fourth coal loader at the Port of Newcastle. The original master plan called for capability to handle 120 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) throughput. According to the Port Waratah Coal Services website: "Since the original plan was lodged with the Department of Planning and Environment, decreases in the world demand for coal have meant we have revisited the plan. If approved, Terminal 4 will have a throughout capacity of 70 mtpa which would be constructed in stages according to demand."[1]

The cost is estimated at US$5 billion. In June 2015 the New South Wales Department of Planning recommended the terminal with strict conditions. The proposal will go back to the independent Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) a second time for final approval.[2]

The terminal was approved in September 2015 by the Planning Department and Planning Assessment Commission (PAC). The Commission said the approval was subject to conditions, including actions to treat contamination on sites the proponent owns, protect biodiversity assets, and achieve acceptable air quality outcomes. In its report, the PAC said the project was "unusual as there is no immediate need for the development of the terminal". Port Waratah Coal Services said the project would be developed if there is a need for the capacity. Approval for the terminal lapses in five years.[3]

Project scrapped

In May 2018 Port Waratah Coal Services said it would allow a lease for the T4 terminal to lapse, signaling that the project would not go ahead. According to Port Waratah chief executive Hennie du Plooy, “With significant growth capacity available in the existing terminals, we do not expect that the conditions to support an investment of the large and long-term nature of Terminal 4 will be in place before the development approval lapses in September 2020."[4]


The Green Party of Australia say the proposal could harm endangered wildlife, and pose health detriments to the 32,000 residents living within 500 meters of the coal corridor. The proposed terminal has been the subject of a strong community campaign, in part due to the additional air pollution which would be generated from coal being transported through suburban areas via uncovered rail wagons.[3]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Port Waratah Coal Services
  • Location: Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • Proposed Coal Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): 70
  • Status: Cancelled (lease allowed to lapse by Port Waratah Coal Services in 2018)
  • Projected In Service:
  • Type: Exports
  • Source of Coal:
  • Cost: US$5 billion
  • Financing:



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