'We'll be rueing Abbot Pt call in 5 yrs'

QUEENSLAND may rue the dumping of Abbot Point's grand expansion in coming years, according to a senior economist specialising in mining and energy.

BIS Shrapnel's Adrian Hart said he was unsurprised by the LNP government's chopping the development of six coal terminals and attached harbour from the Central Queensland port.

But he said that within five years the industry and government would again be feeling the pressure of infrastructure bottlenecks like those that crippled the sector in the lead-up to 2010.

"I think generally it was always going to be tough to reach the accelerated growth (the government) needed for Abbot Point," Mr Hart said.

"But the investment profile has always been to build only after it is required.

"We'll be rueing this five or six years down the track."

The plan to slash the Abbot Point expansion was revealed on Friday, with Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney confirming on Monday the $9 billion expansion was now off the table.

Mr Hart said lessons had not been learned from the blockages in the coal supply chain that cost companies $23 million a month.

By 2010, up to 51 ships were regularly queueing off Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal near Mackay as the port struggled to handle coal demand.

"It has been a question of not being able to build things quickly enough," Mr Hart said.

"Perhaps we should use these weak periods for investing because the long-term fundamentals in coal remains strong.

"I hope it's not put on the backburner for the next three years where we begin fighting capacity constraints."



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