The history of Hay Point Port, North Queensland, Australia

The Hay Point Port is a dedicated coal export port. Given that it covers an area of 6,526ha and in 2011 had a throughput of 32 million tonnes it is the largest coal export port in the world. It is located a 38km drive south of Mackay, North Queensland.


During the 1960s there was an open cut coal mining operation established Goonyella, an area located about 150km south of Mackay. This operation was a venture by the American company Utah Development Company (UDC) and the Japanese Mitsubishi Company.

Looking for UK short period car insurance? Try this one week insurance site now.

In 1968 in conjunction with the government of Queensland, UDC began construction of the port itself. It was completed and operational in late 1971. At that time it was a facility for the sole use of the Central Queensland Coal Associates (CQCA), and the Hay Point Services Ltd had the operational contract. In 1975 an additional coal berth was commissioned. To support operations, port offices were built and accommodation for personnel were built in the town of Half Tide.

Today there are two terminals at the Hay Point Port – the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (D.B.C.T) and Hay Point Coal Terminal (H.P.C.T). Both the DBCT and HPCT facilities have purpose built stock piling yards, rail sidings and off shore wharves. The offshore wharves allow for deep water loading and the coal is sent out to the ships on conveyer systems 2 & 4 kilometres out to sea.

The original Hay Point Coal terminal belongs to the Central Queensland Coal Associates and is operated by Hay Point Services which is a BHP Biliton company. The HPCT has two berths.

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal was established in 1983 at a cost of $250 million. It was established as there were multiple non UDC related coal mining ventures being starting up and they needed their own wharf access. So a common-use export facility, allowing multiple users to export from one site and share operating & infrastructural costs, was established. The Queensland government leases the terminal out and it is operated by the DBCT Management company. DBCT has 4 berths.

A dedicated railway line was built separate from the Queensland state railway and was designed to transport the mined coal from Goonyella to Hay Point Port. Today this railway line provides integrated services between the coal mines in the Bowen Basin area and the port and is now owned by the QR Network.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved.