|East Shores Water Play Park closed for maintenance during the week - Friday, February 27, 2015|
Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) wishes to advise that the East Shores Water Play Park will be closed for maintenance on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 March 2015. read more ...
|GPC releases fourth edition in Port of Gladstone History Book Series - Wednesday, February 18, 2015|
As its centenary year draws to a close, GPC is proud to release the fourth volume in a five-part book series celebrating the rich history of the Port of Gladstone. read more ...
|East Shores water play park re-open - Tuesday, February 17, 2015|
GPC wishes to advise that the water play park at the East Shores precinct has now re-opened to the public. read more ...
GPC’s Port of Gladstone and Port of Rockhampton (Port Alma) are at Maritime Security Level 1
The Port of Gladstone’s formal history began in 1914 as the Gladstone Harbour Board; the Rockhampton Harbour Board in 1896 - both became port authorities in 1987. Gladstone and Rockhampton ports became Government Owned Corporation’s (GOC’s) in 1994 and 1995 respectively. On 1 July 2004 the authorities were merged and commenced operations as the Central Queensland Ports Authority (CQPA).
On 13 March 2008, CQPA was renamed the Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC). On 1 July 2007, GPC converted to a Company Government Owned Corporation (GOC), constituted under the provision of the Government Owned Corporations Act 1993 (GOC Act), and became Gladstone Ports Corporation Limited as part of this process. Port Alma also assumed a new trading name, Port Alma Shipping Terminal. Finally, on November 1 2009, the Port of Bundaberg was transferred to Gladstone Ports Corporation, having been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Port of Brisbane Corporation.
The Port of Gladstone’s major cargo of today, coal, was first handled in 1925 at Auckland Point at a shiploading rate of 100 tonnes per hour (tph). Today, at GPC’s RG Tanna Coal Terminal (RGTCT), coal is loaded at an amazing 6,000tph, with Barney Point Coal Terminal (BPCT) loading at 2000tph.
During the early 1950’s the port transformed from a declining primary industry export base (handling cattle, etc) to the multimillion tonne export centre it is today. The GPA assumed a unique role in 1954 when it pioneered bulk coal handling in Queensland. Not only did it develop the facilities, but opted to operate them - a role it continues today on a vastly expanded scale.
And that’s only the beginning of the story of how the humble Port of Gladstone came to be the largest port in Queensland, the fourth largest in Australia, home to the world’s fifth largest coal export port (RGTCT) and to a myriad of industrial giants.
The Port of Gladstone’s Wharf Centres
Auckland Point was where shipping in Gladstone first began. Live horse exports was the main cargo first handled at the then wooden Auckland Point Jetty in the mid 1930s. The jetty, complete with a cargo shed and supported on cast iron piles, was connected to shore by a timber neck linking with an embankment 55 metres long formed by excavated material from Auckland Hill.
The trade was an important part of Gladstone’s economy for 50 years until freezing works and refrigerated shipping became common. The facility has undergone numerous expansions and today consists of four wharves, with the longest (No 2) being 251 metres. Today the facility handles more than 1.4 million tonnes (Mt) of cargo annually.
RG Tanna Coal Terminal (RGTCT)
The approval for the construction of RGTCT (then known as Clinton Coal Facility) at a cost of $45 million was given in 1976-77 when BHP Co Ltd advised it had secured long term contracts for the sale of coking coal to Japanese steel mills. Construction began almost immediately with Stage One reaching completion in 1997-80. The first vessel to berth at the facility was the MV Iron Capricorn which sailed on 24 April 1980 with 26,196 tonnes (t) of Gregory coal on board. RGTCT was officially opened by BHP Chairman Sir James McNeill, in the presence of the then Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, on 7 May 1980.
Clinton Coal Facility was renamed the RG Tanna Coal Terminal in 1994 in recognition of the efforts of the port’s then General Manager Mr Reg Tanna (1933-2000). In its first full year of operation in 1980-81, the terminal exported 4.3Mt of coal. Today, it is the fifth largest coal export port in the world, exporting over 45Mt of coal.
Interest in utilising port land at Barney Point was first expressed by Thiess Peabody Mitsui Coal Pty Ltd in the early 1960s for the purpose of exporting Moura coal. Thiess Peabody Mitsui was prepared to construct a private rail line from Moura to Gladstone and consequently, work began on constructing a wharf around the mid 1960s.
The facility was completed in 1967-68 - the first shipment of coal (1,600t) departing on 9 August 1967 aboard MV Sangoh Maru. Gladstone Port Authority (GPA; now Gladstone Ports Corporation) purchased the facility, assuming full responsibility of its operations in November 1998. Although coal was, and still is, the main cargo exported from the terminal, GPA set about diversifying the list of cargoes handled at the terminal. Two shipments of cottonseed, totalling almost 30,000t, were exported through Barney Point in mid 1999, signifying the first time a product other than coal had been shipped through the facility.
In the late 1970s, Queensland Cement Ltd expressed an interest in establishing a clinker plant at Fisherman’s Landing. Construction of the single-berth wharf cost approximately $3.7 million and works were completed during 1980-81.
Reclamation work in the area continued and a second berth at Fisherman’s Landing was completed in the late 1990s. The third berth was completed in 2003 for Comalco’s Alumina Refinery (now Rio Tinto Yarwun Alumina Refinery). The Fisherman’s Landing area is earmarked to become the Port of Gladstone’s major wharf centre of the future and today handles about 6.3Mt of cargo annually.
In 1962-63, a consortium - Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) - announced plans to construct the largest alumina plant in the world at Gladstone. After some debate concerning an appropriate parcel of land on which to house the industrial giant, Comalco (the Australian member of the consortium) purchased a prized site at Parsons Point, which previously housed Swift’s Meatworks.
The first major part of the project involved the construction of a causeway and bridge connecting Parsons Point to South Trees Island on which the wharf would be constructed. The 396-metre wharf was constructed next, followed by the $114 million plant. The plant was officially opened on 3 August 1967. Today, QAL’s two-berth South Trees Wharf handles more than 13Mt of cargo a year, including bauxite, alumina, caustic soda and bunker fuel oil.
The construction of Boyne Wharf followed the Comalco Ltd decision in 1975-76 to establish a two-potline aluminium smelter at Boyne Island. The first vessel to use the wharf was the MV Borgnes, which on 27 April 1982 discharged 16,451t of petroleum coke for Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL). BSL was officially opened by the then Premier of Queensland, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen on 20 August, 1982. Today, Boyne Wharf handles more than 611,393t of cargo annually for BSL.
Port Alma Shipping Terminal
Port activities first commenced in Rockhampton in the early 1800s due to its geographical position, which enabled a railway to be built to the west through a gap in the Great Dividing Range. It was the gold strike at Canoona that facilitated the declaration on 8 October 1858, proclaiming Rockhampton as a port of entry with customs and harbour authorities.
The building of wharves and a shed at Port Alma commenced in 1883. The wharves were not connected to the land, resulting in very few ships berthing at Port Alma because a row boat had to be used to reach the shore. The cost of building the first wharf was approximately 36,869 pounds. The wharf had the ability to accommodate two ships, one on each side of the wharf.
On June 6 1911, after 27 years of isolation, the Port Alma to Bajool railway line was completed, with the first railway engine entering the Port Alma Wharf on June 6 1912 in the presence of the Governor, Sir William MacGregor and 300 guests. The original wharf had been widened by 4 metres and 162 metres added to the length. In the first year of operation 22,467 tonnes of cargo was carried on the Bajool-Port Alma railway. Grain, cattle, sheep, gold, copper, hides and tallow were just some of the cargoes handled by the port in its early years.
Saturday 11 October 1969, 2000 people assembled at Port Alma to celebrate the completion of a massive redevelopment and expansion at Port Alma. This took 10 years to complete at a cost of $4 million. It embraced an entire new wharf complex and was described as 'the most important milestone in the history of the Port of Rockhampton'.
The City of Bundaberg was established to serve as a vital link to the surrounding agricultural district when navigators proved that the Burnett River offered the best commercial means of transport to and from the area.
Timber, maize and copper quickly gave way to sugar as the district's principal export. Bundaberg is home to the famous Bundaberg Sugar and Bundaberg Rum.
The port was moved from the town reach of the Burnett River to the river mouth at Burnett Heads where the new port was built in 1958. The new port was able to handle the much larger bulk ships being introduced to the coastal and export trade.
On 1 October 2007, the Port of Bundaberg was transferred from the Bundaberg Port Authority to the Bundaberg Ports Corporation Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Port of Brisbane Corporation.
On 1 November 2009, the Port of Bundaberg was transferred to the Gladstone Ports Corporation and operates as a business unit of GPC trading under the business name Port of Bundaberg.