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Number 01/08

BHP Billiton today announced approval of the Newcastle Third Port Project (the Project), with a capital investment of US$390 million (BHP Billiton’s share as advised by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Pty Ltd (NCIG)). The Project, managed by NCIG, involves the construction of a 30 million tonne per annum (Mtpa) export coal loading facility with a future option to expand to 66Mtpa.

The port is located on Kooragang Island, in Newcastle (Australia), and will include a rail unloader, stockpile facilities, a ship loader and two berths in the south arm of the Hunter River. BHP Billiton President Coal, Dave Murray, said "This Project is an important strategic investment. It underpins our ability to pursue growth options in our New South Wales Energy Coal business and enables us to meet strong demand from our customers."

The first ship loading of coal is scheduled for late calendar year 2010.

Shareholders in NCIG are BHP Billiton 35.5 per cent (through Hunter Valley Energy Coal Pty Ltd), Peabody Coal 17.7 per cent (through Excel Coal Limited), Felix NSW Pty Ltd 15.3 per cent, Donaldson Coal Pty Ltd 11.6 per cent, Whitehaven Coal Mining Limited 11.1 per cent and Centennial Coal Infrastructure Pty Ltd 8.8 per cent.

 For further information please contact:

Australia
Samantha Evans, Media Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 2898  Mobile: +61 400 693 915
email: Samantha.Evans@bhpbilliton.com

Don Carroll, Investor Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 2686  Mobile: +61 417 591 938
email: Don.A.Carroll@bhpbilliton.com

United Kingdom
Andre Liebenberg, Investor Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4131  Mobile: +44 7920 236 974
email: Andre.Liebenberg@bhpbilliton.com

Illtud Harri, Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4195  Mobile: +44 7920 237 246
email: Illtud.Harri@bhpbilliton.com

United States
Tracey Whitehead, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: US +1 713 599 6100 or UK +44 20 7802 4031
Mobile: +44 7917 648 093
email: Tracey.Whitehead@bhpbilliton.com

South Africa 
Alison Gilbert, Investor Relations
Tel: SA +27 11 376 2121 or UK +44 20 7802 4183
Mobile: +44 7769 936 227
email: Alison.Gilbert@bhpbilliton.com

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