New South Wales flooding hits coal supplies to Port of Newcastle

Coal deliveries to Australia’s Port of Newcastle were halted at the weekend because flooding in the Hunter Valley region forced rail lines to close. The heavy rains also slowed ship movements at the port.

Australia’s east coast around New South Wales has seen the worst flooding in half a century. The rains were expected to continue over the next few days, the Australian Weather Bureau warned on Monday March 22nd.

The Australian Rail Track Corp (ARTC) said on Monday that rail operations were halted on the Hunter Valley Network because of heavy rainfall, the potential for more severe flooding, strong winds, fallen trees and downed power lines and poles.

An ARTC spokesman said that the rail lines would be reopened only when water levels receded and conditions were deemed safe.

The Port of Newcastle, which last year shipped 158mt of coal, said that the bad weather had slowed vessel movements into and out of the port. However, operations were continuing.

The Hunter Valley rail network serves mines run by major companies including BHP Group, Glencore, New Hope Corp, Whitehaven Coal, and Yancoal Australia.