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
  • Status: Operating
  • Start year: 1976
  • Type: Exports
  • Coal source: Mines in the Upper Hunter Valley and the Gunnedah Basin, Australia


The Carrington coal terminal 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.[1][2]

In 2017, the Carrington terminal operated at just 70 per cent of its 25 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) capacity.[3]

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.[3]

Direct Action against Carrington coal terminal

July 13 & 14, 2008: Newcastle, NSW, Australia Climate Camp stops coal trains at world's largest coal export port

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]



  1. "Carrington Coal Terminal", Port Waratah Coal Services website, accessed January 2015.
  2. "Facilities", Newcastle Port Corporation website, accessed January 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Joanne McCarthy, "Port Waratah Coal Services is 'very surprised and concerned' about future plans for Newcastle," The Herald, Feb 28, 2018
  4. "Protest halts coal train for six hours", The Sydney Morning Herald, July 14, 2008.
  5. "More coal protest arrests at Newcastle", Business Spectator, July 14, 2008.
  6. "Time for Action! People take action to halt coal exports", Camp for Climate Action, Australia website, accessed December 2008.

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