PLANNING has begun to develop two new coal-loading terminals at a Central Queensland port - a project worth more than $4 billion and requiring at least 2000 workers to build.
Mining giant Anglo American, along with a joint venture between logistics firm Aurizon and Lend Lease called NorthHub, won the right to develop a terminal each at Abbot Point.
Both terminals will be capable of handling about 50 million tonnes.
The latest announcement is the result of the government taking what it called "an incremental approach" to the expansion after it scrapped the former Labor Government's plan to build a suite of new terminals.
If approvals and funding can be secured, Abbot Point could have six terminals in total loading up to 300.million tonnes of coal per year on waiting ships by 2020.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said Abbot Point's expansion was critical for Queensland's future.
"What happens here is critical for every Queenslander," he said.
"Generations of Queenslanders will benefit from the economic benefits from the development of Abbot Point."
Anglo American and NorthHub join a powerful group of developers at the Queensland Government-owned port through its expansion, dubbed Abbot Point X or AP-X.
Anglo is pushing for infrastructure ahead of its new Grosvenor mine.
Grosvenor has been under construction since 2012 and the underground mine is slated to produce five million tonnes of coal per year.
NorthHub's founders are positioning themselves to capture the coal from the soon-to-be-booming Galilee Basin projects.
Aurizon worked with the Queensland Government to hammer out the railway corridor that would link the emerging coal province with Abbot Point, teaming up with miner GVK in the process.
It will sell access to its terminal to smaller mine companies not able to afford their own infrastructure, or those needing more than what they have already secured.
On top of NorthHub and Anglo's two new planned terminals, three others are already in train.
A joint venture between Indian giant GVK and Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, GVK Hancock, is planning its own port, as is BHP Billiton.
GVK rival and Indian energy brute Adani already owns the existing terminal at Abbot Point which it contracts out to other coal exporters.
Adani expects to develop a second one exclusively for its own use, for when its Carmichael Coal Mine begins producing within the next three years.
Of the five yet to begin construction, three are expected to be finished by 2018 while the AP-X terminals should be finished by 2020 if it can secure funding and government approvals.
Although job numbers and investment figures are yet to be released, each of the AP-X terminals has an estimated price tag of $2.billion, requiring a peak workforce of at least 1000 each during construction.
EARLIER: A coal mining giant and an alliance between two major freight and commercial developments will likely design the next Abbot Point port expansion in Central Queensland.
Aurizon - formerly QR national - formed "NorthHub" as a joint venture with Lend Lease to build one of the terminals.
Anglo American will likely develop the other.
Each must now put together detailed plans for how the terminals will look and how much coal they would be able to export.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the expansion would help service the suite of coal mines planned for the Galilee Basin.
Already a rail line stretching almost 500km is planned to shift this coal, mined near the western Queensland town of Alpha to Abbot Point.
One terminal handling up to 50 million tonnes is in place at the port.
With these two planned terminals, it means up to five were now slated for construction.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.