HVCCC History

HVCCC was established in 2009 and has evolved significantly since its formation, as Industry members agreed to work together to create efficiencies in the coal chain which benefited all parties equally.

HVCCC was established in 2009 and has evolved significantly since its formation, as Industry members agreed to work together to create efficiencies in the coal chain which benefited all parties equally.

Formation Years

In early 2003 an Industry Review Team recommended that the implementation of a centralised Coal Chain planning body could deliver enormous benefits to the coal industry. Following acceptance of this recommendation, the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Planning Group (HVCCPG), the forerunner of the HVCCC, was established in June 2003.

Up until this time there was no central planning and coordination process for the movement of coal through the Hunter Valley coal chain. All planning was done at the individual service provider level, often resulting in

  • Inefficient planning and scheduling of coal through the coal chain
  • Lack of coordinated planned maintenance activities
  • Excessive cancellations
  • Conflicts over who had access to coal chain infrastructure, and when and where
  • Investment uncertainty
  • Large vessel queues and international reputation damage
  • Crippling demurrage costs

Acceptance as Central Coal Chain Planning Body

By 2005 all coal industry service providers had embraced the centralised planning model and took steps to formalise it. A Memorandum of Understanding was executed on 5 July 2005 and with this the HVCCPG’s name was changed to the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Logistics Team (HVCCLT). Membership of the HVCCLT then included all organisations responsible for the transport of coal from Hunter Valley mines to the port and onto ships for export. Member organisations were:

  • PWCS as the operator of the cargo assembly and ship loading terminal;
  • Pacific National and QR National as the train operators;
  • Australian Rail Track Corporation as the track owner; and
  • Newcastle Port Corporation

The HVCCLT was the first cooperative model of its kind in Australia implemented to maximise export opportunities through a coordinated approach to planning. Membership was open to any existing and future service providers of transport and port infrastructure along the coal chain.

Transition to the Independent HVCCC

In 2009 the Hunter Valley coal industry went through a detailed review and a major restructure of the contractual arrangements for the movement of coal. The new arrangements provided greater certainty of long-term coal chain system capacity, contractual obligations and better clarity around where and when infrastructure investments should be made for the benefit of the whole coal chain.

With the emergence of these new contractual obligations came the need to further evolve the HVCCLT from a cooperative of service providers to a separate entity with legal status. This entity needed to be more representative of the coal industry. In particular it needed representation from coal producers as well as service providers. As a separate legal entity it would be better placed to more effectively meet its obligations in this new contractual environment.

Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator Limited (HVCCC) incorporated

On 27 August 2009 Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator Limited (HVCCC) was incorporated as a new independent legal entity, and formally replaced the HVCCLT. The membership of HVCCC expanded to include all Hunter Valley coal chain producers as well as service providers.

The HVCCC Board appointed an independent Chairman and CEO. As a separate legal entity, staff previously seconded from the various service provider organisations were offered permanent roles as HVCCC employees.

HVCCC Today

The coal chain enjoys unprecedented long-term strategic planning, transparency, stability, cooperation and a sense of fairness and trust.

The Hunter Valley coal chain is now the largest coal export operation in the world and consists of

  • Approximately 35 coal mines owned by 11 coal producers
  • Coal haulage distances of up to 450 kilometres
  • More than 30 points for loading coal onto trains
  • Four rail haulage providers delivering to two coal terminals
  • The movement and loading of more than 1600 coal vessels annually

Our Future

We’re in a new and arguably more complex era now, facing different kinds of complexities in terms of productivity, efficiency and capacity. But with streamlined systems, custom technology and a highly-skilled workforce on board – and with ongoing industry cooperation – we’re in the box seat to achieve even more.

It’s clear that thanks to the foundations laid by our pioneering industry members, our path forward as an organisation assisting this vital industry is far smoother than what it otherwise might have been.