Challenging project helps meet increased energy demand

The third expansion of the Hay Point Coal Terminal dramatically increased throughput capacity at one of the world's largest coal export facilities. Built by Bechtel for the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), this challenging commission entailed constructing a new berth at the terminal, offshore and onshore construction, and land reclamation, as well as building and fitting out new trestles, conveyers, and ship loaders. 

Hay Point ships coal mined from Queensland’s Bowen Basin, which contains one of the world’s largest reserves of metallurgical coal. Bowen Basin coal is used mainly as a fuel for steel production and as a reducing agent in blast furnaces.

The project increased annual throughput capacity from 44 million metric tons to some 55 million metric tons, thus helping BMA keep pace with increased mining production in the region and intensified international demand.

Innovative execution center optimizes performance

The Stage 3 expansion was one of several large endeavors managed through the innovative Brisbane Hub. This Bechtel execution center was formed to plan and optimize large-scale projects owned by BHP Billiton and its partners. These included four nearby coal projects in the Bowen Basin: Caval RidgeDaunia, Broadmeadow and South Walker Creek. The Hub model allowed Bechtel and our customer to work together directly in a planned long-term arrangement:

  • Saving money and time
  • Improving safety and quality
  • Reducing risk
  • Facilitating better planning 

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Inside the projet

The Hay Point terminal serves eight coal mines in central Queensland with an integrated rail-port network. The terminal has rail facilities for unloading coal from the mines, onshore stockpile yards, and offshore wharves.

The offshore wharves are served by a conveyer system, supported on jetties that run out to sea and enable ship loading in deep water.  The $2.45 billion expansion presented a number of construction challenges:

  • Working under difficult conditions 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) offshore
  • Reclaiming some 25 acres (more than 10 hectares) of land adjacent to the existing stockyard area
  • Assembling offsite (due to limited space) new transfer towers, surge bins, and a ship loader
  • Dredging in an environmentally sensitive manner to remove silt, clay, and hard rock to make way for the new berth

The project played a vital role in the local economy, with the construction phase creating more than 1,000 jobs.

Milestones at Hay Point

On December 9, 2014, coal was loaded out through the new 1.18-mile (1.9-kilometer) long trestle to the existing Berth 1, which helped prove the reliability of one of the out loading streams prior to commissioning the new berth and ship loader. In early January 2015, a customer ship docked at the new Berth 3 for the first time, with first coal loaded on January 12. Apart from the new jetty and berth, Bechtel’s work for BMA also included onshore reclamation and materials handling facilities.