Description of Conduct

On 19 December 2023, Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator (HVCCC) sought authorisation for itself and on behalf of current and future HVCCC members to continue the central coordination and planning activities it currently undertakes to support the efficient operation of the Hunter Valley export coal chain, after the existing authorisation of the Capacity Framework Arrangements expires on 31 December 2024.

HVCCC was incorporated in 2009 and replaced the previous coal chain coordinator, the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Logistics Team. The HVCCC’s current members are:

  • Producers – coal producers that export coal through the Port of Newcastle
  • Below rail track provider – Australian Rail Track Corporation Limited
  • Above rail haulage provides – Pacific National Pty Ltd; Aurizon Operations Limited; One Rail Australia (FLACH) Pty Ltd; and Southern Shorthaul Railroad Pty Ltd
  • Port terminals – Port Waratah Coal Services; and the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, and
  • Newcastle Port – Port Authority of NSW; and Port of Newcastle Operations Pty Ltd as trustee for the Port of Newcastle Unit Trust, the operator of the Port of Newcastle

(referred to as HVCCC Members).

The Hunter Valley export coal chain involves the shared use of the HVCCC’s Members’ services and infrastructure (each owned and operated by different parties) by multiple coal producers. This application relates to the HVCCC’s role in planning and coordinating the cooperative operation and alignment of capacity of the coal chain. It does not relate to the separate agreements entered into between below rail, above rail, port and/or port terminal operators and their respective customers.

HVCCC sought authorisation for itself and for current and future HVCCC members to engage in the following conduct:

i.  share information and coordinate between HVCCC and its members for the purpose of:

  • Capacity planning – work to facilitate efficient and aligned system capacity planning across the coal chain. This includes the preparation and communication of Master Plans and Annual Coal Chain capacity plans (Annual Declaration and System Assumptions).
  • Operational planning – coordinating with members to identify risks and opportunities for efficient operations, and prepare rolling plans to enable efficient and aligned operations across the coal chain. This includes obtaining information from, and coordinating with, members to prepare and share short to medium term plans – for example: maintenance windows, cargo assembly plans, coal delivery schedules, rail plans and stockpile and vessel plans.
  • Facilitating the Live Run function – includes the monitoring and execution of daily plans and making recommendations to minimise losses from delays and disruptions, and ensure that impacts from events in Live Run are appropriately addressed and managed in future plans.
  • Recommending improvements in delivery of HVCCC Objects – including measuring and reviewing coal chain performance standards, creating and sharing performance reports, and recommending improvements to processes for planning and coordinating the cooperative alignment of the coal chain.

ii.    Any concerted practice, or any contract, arrangement or understanding between HVCCC members that they will act in a particular way on the basis of a recommendation by, or advice from, the HVCCC; or any conduct that involves a member making an independent decision based on, or giving effect to, a recommendation by, or advice from, the HVCCC in the delivery of HVCCC Objects, in each case so far as necessary or desirable to achieve the purposes set out in item (i).

Authorisation was sought for 10 years, until 31 December 2034.

On 1 May 2024, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation.

On 5 June 2024, the ACCC issued a final determination granting authorisation to AA1000658 for 10 years, until 31 December 2034.

The ACCC’s final determination, draft determination and the application for authorisation are available below. 


  • Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator Limited

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000658-1