PHOTOS: Barney Point's last day in the coal trade
THE last ship carrying coal from Barney Point Coal Terminal will leave Gladstone Harbour tomorrow.
It's the end of an era for the Gladstone Ports Corporation which in 2008 promised to move the coal operations away from homes once Wiggins Island was fully operational.
Now eight years later, that day has arrived.
The first shipment left Barney Point Coal Terminal in August 1967 and since then more than 150 million tonnes of high quality coal has left Australia via the terminal.
In the late 1950s a delegation from Japanese company Mitsui came to Queensland and after deciding the coal being mined in Queensland wasn't good enough.
A new mine started at Moura and Barney Point Coal Terminal was born.
But that's not the only influence Mitsui has had in Queensland.
The company played a vital role in starting the metallurgical coal export industry in Queensland which now accounts for 80% of the coal that passes through Gladstone Port.
Gladstone Ports Chairman Leo Zussino said while the coal industry was suffering, demand for metallurgical coal, used to make steel, would remain strong.
"There will be very significant exports occurring out of Gladstone, Dalrymple Bay, Hay Point, and out of Abbot Point into the long term future," Mr Zussino said.
The closure of Barney Point leaves Gladstone with two coal terminals, the largest being RG Tanna which has the capacity to move 75 million tonnes of coal a year, and Wiggins Island which can handle 27 million tonnes.
The ship docked at Barney Point now, Dyna Crane, is headed for Japan and is expected to leave Gladstone tomorrow afternoon.