The Coal Chain
We are proud to work in partnership with over 25 organisations to make the Hunter Valley Coal Chain one of the largest and most collaborative coal supply chains in the world.
Spanning over 450km the Hunter Valley Coal Chain is made up of coal producers (or mines), rail haulage providers, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), three export terminals, port managers and the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator. Collectively the Hunter Valley Coal Chain facilitates more than 20,000 train trips and the loading of 1,600 vessels annually in order to export more than 80 different types of thermal and coking coal to destinations around the world.
At the heart of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain’s success is cutting-edge technology, continuous process improvement and a commitment to working in partnership.
Port Waratah’s role in the coal chain is to receive, stockpile, blend and load coal onto vessels for export. We facilitate the export of over 70 per cent of the coal chain’s throughput.
While we don’t own, mine or sell coal, we are proud to collaborate with members of the coal chain to continue to make the Hunter Valley a world leader in coal export supply chains.
Map of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain
Members of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain
There are about 40 mines involved in the Hunter Valley Coal Chain owned and managed by 11 Coal Producers. There are a number of different types of coal which are blended and sold, depending on the specific needs of the end user. To find out more about different Hunter Valley coal producers visit the NSW Minerals Council website.
There are four main rail haulage providers; Pacific National, Aurizon, Glencore and Southern Shorthaul Railroad. Collectively they transport coal from over 30 different load points to the three terminals at the Port. This adds up to more than 20,000 train trips a year. The track is owned and maintained by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and train movements scheduled by the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator so that rail arrivals are aligned with stockyard capacity at the Port as well as vessel arrivals.
While Port Waratah Coal Services and Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG)are different companies we are both responsible for the receival, stockpiling and loading of coal onto vessels for export. It is at the Port that cargos are assembled from various trains and mines, specific to the end users' needs.
The Port of Newcastle welcomes over 1,400 coal vessels each year. Independent tug operator, Svitzer is responsible for working with the pilots and the Harbour Master to safely guide the vessels in and out of the harbour.
As a working international harbour there are a range of rules and regulations which need to be followed. We work with government agencies such as NSW Port Authority, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to keep Newcastle a safe and secure international port.
While at berth vessels and their crews have the opportunity to restock on supplies such as food and water, visit the local community or touch base with crew support services such as the Mission to Seafarers.