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Thread: Gridlock Down Under

  1. #1

    Gridlock Down Under

    [B]A Commodity Boom Gets Stuck In the Harbor[B]
    The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2005 by Patrick Barta

    Gridlock Down Under

    Australia has lots of coal, but has trouble exporting it efficiently. Ships are sometimes anchored for days waiting for a docking berth, and coal may come from mines that are hours away from the port.

    Makay, Australia

    Nearly 20 ships were anchored in the Coral Sea on a recent morning, waiting to be loaded with coal to fuel Asia's voracious steel mills.

    Queensland, Australia, has some of the most prolific coal mines in the world. But Dalrymple Bay, a key port located just outside this city, isn't big enough to meet the demand. So the ships continue to idle--many will be anchored for days--and the coal mines can't expand....


    Any comments, and further info from all you Queensland planners? Why isn't Australia investing a few billion dollars in its harbor infrastructure?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    That's a good question. They would be wise to. Perhaps they are trying to prolong the positive economic effects?

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?ll=49.018...0525&t=k&hl=en
    BC Coal Superport

  3. #3
    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    According to something I read a while back (it might have been the Premier, or it could have just been a journalist ranting randomly) the back ups are caused not by the harbour, (which is apparantly not running at full capacity) but by the coal mines themselves. I *think* the article said, but it was a while ago, that the boats are ordered/arranged by the mines themselves, but the mines arent producing fast enough. I got the impression this is just the product of a wasteful industry, it must be simply cheaper to have a bunch of boats waiting rather then have to wait for the boats to arrive, so as to not waste a second in the mad dash with the coal to asia.

    But i really dont remember this so well.. does anyone else from queensland remember the issue? i think it was in the news for a while a few months ago.
    Last edited by chukky; 08 Jul 2005 at 4:47 AM. Reason: many many mispellings

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ABS's avatar
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    It sounds vaguely familiar but I don't know anythingh about it.
    Great mindless think alike.

    Planning my way out of wet paper bag since 2003

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chukky
    I got the impression this is just the product of a wasteful industry, it must be simply cheaper to have a bunch of boats waiting rather then have to wait for the boats to arrive, so as to not waste a second in the mad dash with the coal to asia.
    I find this a little unlikely. I was speaking to a person who works for an oil shipper once, and appearently those ships are fantastically expensive to keep on the sea. They spend millions on scheduling to try to ensure that there won't be delays for the ships.
    Last edited by jordanb; 10 Jul 2005 at 7:25 PM.

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