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Australian State Targets A$6.2 Billion Coal Port Expansion

June 1 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s Queensland state has invited companies to bid for the right to develop as many as four additional terminals at the Abbot Point coal port that may cost A$6.2 billion ($6.6 billion).

The construction, combined with other expansion plans, will make Abbot Point one of the world’s largest coal ports, Premier Anna Bligh said today in a statement. It will have seven terminals and capacity of about 300 million metric tons a year, she said.

The proposed expansion is aimed at meeting rising Asian demand for the commodity, Bligh said. Adani Enterprises Ltd., India’s biggest coal importer, agreed last month to pay A$1.8 billion for a 99-year lease on the terminal.

“These expansions will further cement Queensland as the world’s largest exporter of coal and are critical to the economy and wealth of Queensland,” Bligh said.

Construction may begin in 2015 and first coal exports from the fourth terminal may start in 2017, according to the statement. The most recent expansion of Abbot Point takes capacity to 50 million tons a year, the government said.

Each of the proposed terminals would have a capacity of 30 million tons a year, the government said.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney jpaton4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.

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