Sunday, March 11, 2007

Great Pheasant – or “The China-Australia Health Index”

I prefer Great Pheasant. It is a little more poetic than the latter. But they are connected. I was reading somewhere in the last few weeks that the backlog of coal ships anchored off Newcastle is currently at record highs. Newcastle is the loading port for Hunter Valley Coal which is being shipped at enormous rates to China. It has been a while since I had taken a look at the ships so when that town on Friday I had a quick peek. Ships as far as the eye can see. Actually 37 that I could see. Some dimly visible in the salt haze of a warm, windy day. All waiting their turn, standing high in the water revealing their rust red oxide, rust proofed bottoms. The crews must groan when they hear they are coming down here on a coal run since they spend a crazy amount of time sitting off the coast and have no opportunity to come ashore.

Tied up along side the coal terminals were three coal ships, the largest named Great Pheasant. It is difficult to get a close up photo of them since all the conveyors and loading machinery gets in the way. But if here is still a little boy lurking in you somewhere then this place is a great port to poke around in. There is a lot of machinery to admire. And some quick maths reveals some stunning statistics. Guessing that the Great Pheasant would carry 150,000 to 200,000 tonnes of coal the ships sitting of the beach represented 5.5million tonnes of coal. (The Great Pheasant actually carries more than 170,000 tonnes).

The mineral export boom to China continues, people are making a lot of money out of it, the share market is propped up on it, the government is counting on the healthy export driven economy to carry it through the next election, and China Health index, measured by the number of ships off Newcastle, sets new records. Signs of our times.

1 comment:

MBT Outlet Italia said...

Questa estate, le scarpe più alla moda?Che scarpe è più al popolo come?Xiaobian raccolti 12 dollari questa estate, la tendenza più calda di sandali sui piedi c'è lo stile della ragazza magazine oh.