Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal

Increasing demand for coal is driving Australia’s coal export market and worldwide demand is expected to continue to grow significantly. In order to meet this demand, greater export capacity is required and WICET will provide a valuable boost to existing and future coal export capacity for Queensland’s coal producers in the Bowen and Surat Basins.

This $2.5 billion project will provide more than 800 jobs on site and employ approximately 120 personnel during operation. Main components included in this project’s scope are:

  • Rail receiver dump station, handling 7600 tonnes per hour
  • 5.5km long overland conveyor
  • Stockyard area for 1.9 million tonnes of coal
  • 2km long jetty conveyor
  • Single berth with travelling ship loader (8250 tonnes per hour)
  • Channels and wharf (accepting 40000dwt – 220000dwt)
  • 132kV substation, access roads, workshops, admin offices and amenities

Once fully commissioned the export terminal will effectively double coal export capacity at the Port of Gladstone, exporting 80 million tonnes per annum.


Uni-span was approached to offer their expertise on how best to form the coal conveyor tunnels, with each tunnel measuring 950 metres in length. Many factors needed to be considered, not least the integrity of the waterproofing, but also the
changes in direction and safety constraints that is of paramount importance to the project.

The MK System Civil Engineering Kit was chosen as the optimal system solution best suited to overcome the obstacles presented through varying gradients and interfaces of square to curved junctions of discharge chambers throughout. The high moment connections between the MK walers allowed generally less equipment to be used and larger than usual pouring platforms to be incorporated. AGJV (Abi-group Golding Joint Venture) concluded that the versatility offered with the MK system, jointly supplied with wall formwork systems ORMA and Enkoform VMK as well as slab formwork system Enkoflex, would best address these issues.


The tunnels were poured in varying lengths from 15.00m up to 30.00m sections to enable the construction sequence best meet the gradient change points. 120Lm of MK tunnel form were supplied in total. Coupled with hydraulics to enable a smooth strike and Ulma’s electric driving motors, the tunnel forms were easily moved into the next position at travelling speeds of 6.2m/minute. The tunnels internal diameter of 6.50m was consistent, with the wall thickness varying externally from 375mm at the highest point to 700mm at the stub sides.

Uni-span were also engaged to engineer and supply formwork on the remaining global works structures including a Barge Wharf and a 2km jetty as well as supply the projects scaffolding needs.