China has blocked plans by the owners of the stricken vessel the Iron Chieftain to send it to one of its shipyards to be broken up into scrap.
The move means CSL Shipping will now look to tow the ship to Turkey instead.
The Iron Chieftain has been moored in Port Kembla since June 2018, when a fire broke out as it was unloading dolomite - an ingredient in steel-making - at one of BlueScope's berths.
The fire started on a conveyor belt and spread to one of the ship's holds and took a week to fully extinguish.
Since then, the shipping line has worked to clean up the ship, including removing heavy fuel oils and wastewater left on board after the firefighting effort.
In October 2018 CSL applied to the federal Environment and Energy department for permission to export the Iron Chieftain to the Jiangyin Xiagang Changjiang Shipbreaking Yard.
However, after that application was lodged, China banned the importation of vessels for shipbreaking.
As a result, CSL has revised the application seeking permission to send the ship to Turkey for the recycling and reclamation of "metals and metal compounds".
In late December, the ship was moved from the BlueScope berth to one on the opposite of the harbour - at the location of the proposed gas terminal.
"The vessel is undergoing final preparations for departure and will proceed under tow by an ocean-going tug," a CSL spokesman said.
"The date of departure has not been finalised."
The circumstances surrounding the fire on the Iron Chieftain are still being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
The result of the investigation is expected to be released later this year.
EPA Regional Manager Operations Illawarra Peter Bloem said the clean-up operation has not had any significant impact on the waters of Port Kembla harbour.
An EPA spokeswoman said the clean-up the organisation had ordered was completed in October last year.
"Residual waste materials still on board the vessel (including residual cargo and oily solids/sludges) continue to be managed and removed from the ship as per agreed waste management plans and are being transported to EPA licensed waste facilities," the spokeswoman said.