Port steaming along with record year
PORT of Bundaberg is celebrating a record calendar year in 2017, handling a whopping 558,935 tonnes of trade as stakeholders hold high hopes for the year ahead.
The milestone was driven by an increased focus on gypsum, the export of specialty sands and wood pellets, which is on top of the back of continued strength of Bundaberg's sugar exports.
Knauf Bundaberg's first shipment of gypsum arrived in July, heralding the beginning of a new business partnership and marking the first major import of dry bulk product for the port.
By the end of the year, the Port of Bundaberg had handled 42,299 tonnes of imported gypsum, with the bulk product going into the production of plasterboard at the Knauf manufacturing plant.
Port of Bundaberg manager Jason Pascoe expects that growth to continue.
"Gladstone Ports Corporation is confident Knauf's plasterboard production will continue to grow and expects to see strong future trade growth in gypsum,” he said.
South Korea is our leading export country and continues to be a strong market for sugar, with more than 180,000 tonnes of the product shipped there during 2017 along with 16,586 tonnes of silica sand.
Bundaberg strong trading relationship with Japan continues with the export of 127,000 tonnes of sugar, 45,056 of silica sand and 18,505 tonnes of wood pellets, making it our second largest trading partner.
Of great interest to the port is the State Development Area, which was declared in February 2017.
It's the next critical step to turn the port into an industrial powerhouse and allows the state's Co-ordinator-General to fast track development.
"The SDA will assist in making Bundaberg an attractive destination for new and existing business and industry looking to expand and invest,” Mr Pascoe said.
"The proximity to the port is one of its major drawcards.
"We look forward to exploring opportunities that arise from the SDA in the coming months and years.”