BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has opened the new third berth at its $3bn Hay Point Coal Terminal near Mackay in Central Queensland, Australia.
The opening of new berth will increase Queensland's coal exports capacity from the existing 44 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 55Mtpa.
The terminal was established in 1971 and has since exported one billion tonnes of coal through it.
BMA owns and operates seven metallurgical coal mines in Central Queensland, Hay Point Coal Terminal and other infrastructure.
As part of the Hay Point Coal Terminal third expansion project (HPX3), a new berth and ship-loader were constructed alongside the existing two berths.
The project also included the replacement of the existing jetty, trestle conveyors and surge bins as well as linking conveyors.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: "I want to thank BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi for their confidence in the Queensland coal export market and their contribution to the Queensland economy, despite coal prices having declined markedly in recent years."
New offshore facilities at the terminal include the new berth 3 and a ship loader, two trestle conveyors on a 1.9km trestle and conveyors between berths 1, 2 and 3.
BHP Billiton coal president Mike Henry said: "The opening of the HPX3 project is a significant milestone.
"Through its design features, the project has also improved the port's ability to withstand significant weather events, improving the resilience of the BMA business and enhancing customer confidence in the reliability of supply from BMA and Queensland."
Image: BMA exports seaborne metallurgical coal. Photo: courtesy of BHP Billiton.