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December 17, 2009

QR wins $A 2 billion coal contract

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QUEENSLAND RAIL (QR) has secured a $A 2 billion ($US 1.8 billion) long-term contract from mining giant Xstrata to transport coal from mines in the Collinsville/Newlands area to Abbot Point export terminal. The contract, which will commence at the end of this year or early next year, covers operations from Newlands, Collinsville, Oaky Creek, and Rolleston mines.
QR CEO Mr Lance Hockridge says QR will invest $A 100 million in new locomotives to support the contract.
The Collinsville/Newlands network is the smallest of Queensland's three coal networks and carried around 11 million tonnes of coal last year. The Newlands - Abbot Point line is still diesel-worked, although QR has plans to electrify and upgrade the line and construct a 69km connection between Goonyella and Newlands, which would relieve pressure on the export terminal at Hay Point/Dalrymple Bay. This project has been deferred due to the economic crisis, although the alignment has been secured and the state government has endorsed construction of the new line.
Abbot Point terminal is now capable of handling 21 million tonnes per annum following an expansion project completed in 2007, and the state government wants to expand this to 50 million tonnes.
The Queensland government is planning to sell up to 75% of QR National next year, which could raise up to $A 7 billion.
 
Photo: John Hoyle

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