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What we do

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) exports thermal and metallurgical coal from Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin mines to ports around the world. The terminal operates around the clock and has a name plate capacity of 85 Mtpa.


Coal arrives at the terminal by rail and is unloaded “on the move” as trains pass through one of three Rail Receival stations. An extensive conveyor network then transports the coal either directly to the wharf for loading or to the stockyard for storage.


The stockyard covers nearly 67 hectares and provides eight rows of stockpiles with a combined live capacity of over 2.28 million tonnes.

Stacking machines are used to create stockpiles by transferring coal from the conveyors at a rate of up to 7,500 tonnes per hour. The average stockpile contains about 20,000 tonnes of coal (approximately two train loads), is 80 metres in length and is stacked no higher than 13.2 metres to minimise dust creation. Each coal product is different and has a different purpose, so care is taken to ensure there is no cross-contamination of products.

When a ship is ready for its cargo, reclaimer machines use a bucket wheel to clear the stockpiles and place the coal back on the conveyor system. These machines reclaim at an average rate of up to 4,200 to 5,800 tonnes per hour. Stacker/reclaimer machines, as their name suggests, can perform both tasks.

The reclaimed coal is transported to one of three surge bins that act as buffers between the yard system and the conveying system to the shiploaders, ensuring an even loading rate is sustained. The surge bins are also used to mix different types of coal to create a requested coal blend. After the coal is tested to ensure it meets buyer requirements it is then transported along the 3.8 kilometre jetty to the wharf.


The 1.66 kilometre wharf features four berths, which can accommodate ships ranging from 20,000 to 220,000 dead weight tonne. Three manually-operated shiploaders are used to transfer coal from the wharf conveyors into the holds of ships at a nominal loading rate of 7200 tonnes per hour. While the size and cargo of each ship visiting the terminal can vary greatly, it takes about 22 hours to load the average 80,000 tonne cargo.