The world’s largest coal port is preparing for a lower carbon future world. The incoming new chairman of the Port of Newcastle on the east coast of Australia has urged the port and its hinterland to source new revenue streams as global demand for coal will wane. Professor Roy Green, on taking the new port position, said Newcastle’s reliance on coal as its core business places the port at financial risk.
“Clearly the long term outlook for coal is a threat to the port and Hunter region, but it is also a huge opportunity. While the world’s demand for our coal is beyond our control, our ability to invest in new sources of growth and innovation is not. Among our challenges will be ensuring a level playing field for the development of a viable and competitive container terminal,” Green said.
Coal currently accounts for 90% of the port’s throughput.
Rob Henderson, a policy and markets economist, and former chief economist for markets at National Australia Bank (NAB), commented on Green’s comments: “Today’s announcement from the new chair of the port of Newcastle board, the widely respected emeritus professor Roy Green, is indicative of the seismic shift underway in the world of power generation and investment. Newcastle, the world’s largest coal port, is now transitioning to a lower carbon world and is actively planning for the time when less of the Hunter’s wealth and income will be generated from coal.”