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BHP Billiton Approves Investment In Newcastle Third Export Coal Terminal

Number 01/08

BHP Billiton today announced approval of the Newcastle Third Port Project (the Project), with a capital investment of US$390 million (BHP Billiton’s share as advised by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Pty Ltd (NCIG)). The Project, managed by NCIG, involves the construction of a 30 million tonne per annum (Mtpa) export coal loading facility with a future option to expand to 66Mtpa.

The port is located on Kooragang Island, in Newcastle (Australia), and will include a rail unloader, stockpile facilities, a ship loader and two berths in the south arm of the Hunter River. BHP Billiton President Coal, Dave Murray, said "This Project is an important strategic investment. It underpins our ability to pursue growth options in our New South Wales Energy Coal business and enables us to meet strong demand from our customers."

The first ship loading of coal is scheduled for late calendar year 2010.

Shareholders in NCIG are BHP Billiton 35.5 per cent (through Hunter Valley Energy Coal Pty Ltd), Peabody Coal 17.7 per cent (through Excel Coal Limited), Felix NSW Pty Ltd 15.3 per cent, Donaldson Coal Pty Ltd 11.6 per cent, Whitehaven Coal Mining Limited 11.1 per cent and Centennial Coal Infrastructure Pty Ltd 8.8 per cent.

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