DESPITE less cargo being moved through Gladstone Ports Corporation’s three ports, revenue was up on 2019 to $513.1 million, according to its annual report.
GPC is a multi-commodity ports corporation covering operations at Gladstone, Rockhampton and Bundaberg.
“In 2019/20 our 760 employees focused on promoting, facilitating and developing prosperity for the Central Queensland and Wide Bay Burnett regions,” the report said.
A total of 122.5 million tonnes (Mt) of cargo was moved in 2019/2020 compared with 124.8Mt in 2018/19.
This cargo generated revenue in 2019/2020 of $513.1 million, up 7.72 per cent on 2018/2019’s $476.4 million.
Coal led the way as the major cargo through the ports, with 71.7 million tonnes moved, or 58.5 per cent of total throughput, predominantly through the RG Tanna Coal Terminal RGTCT.
“Throughput volumes remained relatively stable however, were impacted due to a combined effect from weather disruptions and supply chain challenges including reduced demand during COVID-19,” the report said.
“Coal tonnage throughput for 2020/21 is anticipated to be approximately 74.9Mt, with metallurgical and thermal coal remaining consistent.”
The global pandemic didn’t see a decline in gas exports, although gas shipments are predicted to drop over the next year.
“Gladstone remains on track to become one of the world’s largest LNG ports, as the three Curtis Island plants continue to ramp up production,” the report said.
“LNG exports totalled 22.1Mt in 2019/20, compared to 21.6Mt in 2018/19.”
“GPC anticipates shipping for 2020/21 will be 20.9Mt.”
Other than Liquefied Natural Gas, GPC operations handled a variety of other liquids.
“GPC handled a variety of bulk liquid products during the financial year, including petroleum (bunker fuel and diesel), liquefied petroleum gas, liquid ammonia, caustic soda, sulfuric acid and tallow,” the report said.
“Petroleum trade imports again increased to 1.1Mt a 5.9 per cent increase on the previous year’s trade, while sulfuric acid and tallow also showed significant growth.
“Liquid ammonia imports increased slightly over the 12-month period to 242.1 kilotonnes.”
Dry bulk cargo other than coal was also a major export.
“Aluminium, alumina, bauxite, calcite, cement, grain, sugar, petroleum coke, fly ash, gypsum, limestone, silica sand, wood pallets are among the dry bulk products handled across GPC’s port precincts during 2019/20,” the report said.
“Aluminium and associated products alone accounted for 24Mt of GPC’s exports, maintaining its position as the Corporation’s second largest trade.
“Cement products handled at Fisherman’s Landing remained steady with 1.9Mt, while Silica Sand increased by 71.6 per cent (51.4kt) from 2018/19.”
New trade links are anticipated to bring an increase in general cargo over the next year.
“General cargo product handled by GPC included explosives, scrap metal, heavy equipment, machinery, forestry products and breakbulk (bagged products),” the report said.
“Scrap metal exports declined in 2019/20 by 48.8 per cent to 38.2kt, ammonium nitrate exports totalled 100kt, while log exports decreased to 388kt.”
The prospect of increasing containerised trade is being evaluated.
“The Port of Gladstone and Rockhampton together handled 3,467 containers in 2019/20, down from 7,153 in 2018/19,” the report said.
The movement of this cargo resulted in $79.6 million in dividends being paid to shareholders, which was 9.53 per-cent above its target of $72.6 million.
A spokeswoman said GPC recorded trade results for 2019-20 impacted somewhat by COVID-19.
“GPC will be providing a dividend to its shareholders exceeding its original forecast,” the spokeswoman said.
“GPC is proud to facilitate trade for its customers and generate such results for the people of Queensland.
“GPC would like to thank the community for their invaluable support during the last financial year, and as Australia’s premiere multi-commodity port, GPC remains focused on the important priorities of growing jobs, trade and our regions’ prosperity into the future.”
GPC staff by numbers;
Employees: 760 (738.56 full time equivalent)
Full-time – 94.3 per-cent
Part time and casual – 5.7 per-cent
Males – 80.4 per-cent
Females – 19.6 per-cent
Indigenous employees – 3.82 per-cent
Apprentices and trainees – 53
Average age of employees – 44.76 years-old