Abbot Point expansion project given the green light
Communities throughout the Bowen Basin are celebrating as the federal government gave the go ahead to the Abbot Point expansion project.
After months of uncertainty and speculation, federal environment minister Greg Hunt announced that the Abbot Point Coal terminal close to Mackay could be extended.
Arrow's Curtis Island Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Facility and Gas Transmission line were also given the green light, potentially leading to significant job creation throughout the region.
Abbot Point - an overview
The Port of Abbot Point is situated around 25km north-west of Bowen, next to the Abbot Point State Development Area.
The expansion project is designed to maximise the export of coal from the region, while also supporting the continued economic development of Queensland.
It is hoped that not only will port infrastructure be enhanced, but also that future mining projects will be able to thrive in the region, giving the resources sector greater longevity.
As these coal mining projects come to the fore, experts believe that there will be a need to expand the coal export capacity of Abbot Point further.
This has been factored in to the original plans, as the project has been designed so that staged terminal development will be possible when needed.
Where will benefit from the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion?
There is already widespread hope that existing mining communities will reap the rewards of the coal terminal expansion, potentially creating some lucrative investment opportunities.
The Bowen Basin - an area that covers in excess of 60,000 sq km of Central Queensland - is one of the areas set to benefit.
Already a major hub for coal mining activity, the region will welcome increased footfall, which will no doubt benefit those with a real estate investment, and of course local businesses.
At a time when there is much debate over what the future of the resources sector has in store, the Abbot Point announcement is likely to give renewed confidence that there is still room for expansion.
What does the future have in store?
It is not yet clear when dredging will get underway, although now approval has been granted, there are widespread hopes that this will happen sooner rather than later.
As workers are recruited for roles at Abbot Point and the other two related projects, there is likely to be a sudden rise in demand for property in Mackay and the Bowen Basin as a whole.
Investors hoping to cash in on the trend might want to start carrying out their research on Queensland investment property to see which locations are likely to be the most lucrative.
This has the potential to be one of the biggest projects in recent years, so the investment opportunities are likely to be strong.