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environment

Climate

Our business is inextricably linked with the global seaborne coal trade, the continued demand for Hunter Valley coal and supporting universal access to affordable and reliable energy. We recognise and are planning for the global transitioning to a low carbon future and expect to play a role for decades to come.

Our role in energy transition

Port Waratah has assessed climate change risks and has strategies in place to reduce climate change impacts, planning for our role in global energy transition.

Our business is inextricably linked with the global seaborne coal trade, the continued demand for Hunter Valley coal and supporting universal access to affordable and reliable energy of which coal-fired power generation will play a role for decades to come. We recognise the global transition to a low-carbon future, the climate change science set out in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook

Meeting global energy demand and reducing emissions is a key global challenge. Different countries will have different pathways and fuel mixes to reach the same shared global emissions goal. 

When we look to the future, the regional strengths of product quality and reliable supply will support the Hunter Valley coal industry to remain steady through ongoing global change. The overall demand for the Hunter’s product in its core South-East Asian markets remains strong and is consistent with the global forecast implications of energy transition such as those from the International Energy Agency

Our business connects local producers to the world. When we assess customer and producer expectations, including the transition plans in major customer markets, indications are that demand for Hunter Valley coal in its core markets will likely be fairly stable through a large part of the 2020s andwe consider it likely that the complexity of the transition will result in increased volatility and from time-to-time, demand and supply imbalances.

As the energy transition plays out over time, Port Waratah and indeed the Hunter Valley coal industry is exceptionally well-positioned to meet market demand in a very competitive way. The infrastructure exists throughout the coal chain and there are ample resources of quality product in existing mining areas, consistent with State Government policy. Our performance not only positions us well to support customers into the future, but also builds skills and capability in how local industry can operate in changing global markets at a time of unprecedented change. These skills and capabilities are in the region, available to play a role in supporting regional diversification and the economic transition.

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Preparing for Climate Change

To address physical and direct climate change risks, we have undertaken a review and assessment of 12 key aspects, including changes to aspects such as sea levels, storm severity, bushfire weather and drought frequency. The assessment was based on maintaining our operations and ability to meet contracted demand over two horizons: the next five and 20 years.

Each year we report our energy consumption and emissions to the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Regulator, with our data publicly available via their website, cleanenergyregulator.gov.au and summarised in our Sustainability Report.

We are committed to providing support and professional development opportunities for our employees now and into the future. As the world transitions to a low-carbon future and forecast demand for Hunter Valley coal and our operations change, we will plan for our role in the transition in consultation with the Hunter Valley Coal Chain and other stakeholders, including our workforce. This will ensure support for our employees, contractors and suppliers as the global energy transition continues to evolve over time.

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Improving energy consumption and emissions

We have implemented numerous projects aimed at reducing electricity consumption, including physical changes such as LED lighting upgrades, as well as improving our operational efficiency, and maintenance reliability, which reduces the time our plant and equipment needs to stop/start or operate under capacity. 

As a business, we are committed to continually improving our energy efficiency, as well as reducing our overall greenhouse gas emissions. We are developing strategies to further reduce our emissions footprint by looking for new opportunities including smart technology efficiencies and energy alternatives.

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In 2021, we achieved our most energy efficient year to date with a saving of 851,000kWh, relative to the tonnes of coal Port Waratah handled for the year. This saving is equivalent to the annual consumption of 170 average Newcastle households. Compared to 10 years ago, our relative annual electricity savings exceed 12.4 million kWh, or close to 2,500 Newcastle households. Find out more about Port Waratah’s energy efficiency & emissions.

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Community consultation

Climate change risks and impacts is one of the important topics raised by our local community through the Local Voices Community Survey . We value community connection and feedback. Many comments focused on greater communication of Port Waratah’s strategies to reduce climate change impacts and plan for our role in global energy transition and we are committed to sharing our position and strategies as they evolve and change over time. We do this through our annual sustainability report and regular community newsletters and website updates.

We also seek input from our Community Meeting Group to discuss climate change and help us develop an improvement plan. The Community Meeting Group is made up of community representatives from our portside suburbs.