Plant Optimisation

NCIG operates as a highly automated and innovative facility that serves as critical infrastructure to the NSW coal mining industry and enables access to global markets.

Following the completion of the construction of our facilities, we undertook reviews of our operations to identify opportunities to improve efficiency, inherent unutilised capacity, and opportunities to handle additional tonnage. As a result, we have since implemented a number of on-site control systems and operational process enhancements that improve the efficiency of the operation within the existing terminal boundary, using existing infrastructure, and at a low capital cost.

The optimisation improvements are largely developed through the innovative ideas identified by our people, and have been collated and implemented as part of the optimisation phases, which have primarily involved a process of shortlisting, prioritising, measuring and evaluating the effects of each initiative on improving overall terminal capacity.

Examples of previous improvement initiatives include:

  • automation of our train unloading stations
  • decreasing time between the unloading of trains carrying the same coal type, and process and network changes to promote sequencing of trains carrying the same coal type
  • extending stockpiles to the eastern limit of the existing stockyard
  • improving utilisation of the existing coal stockpiles up to the approved height of 25 metres
  • optimising operations of stackers/reclaimers and improved average reclaim rates through software and hardware upgrades
  • improving coal conveyors through the upgrade of hardware to increase the capacity of the train unloading stations from 8,500 tonnes per hour (tph) to approximately 10,000 tph
  • better utilisation of existing buffer bin capacity through infrastructure, operational and process control improvements
  • improving ship loader hatch changes
  • improving shipping vessel arrival and departure processes

In early 2020, NCIG applied to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to increase the terminal’s capacity in line with the optimisation improvements. Approval was granted in August 2020 to increase NCIG’s capacity from 66 million tonnes per annum to 79 million tonnes per annum.

To hear from some of our team that led to our increased capacity, click to watch the video below.