QR National has this week taken a major step in finalising planning for rail infrastructure to support the next wave of growth in the Queensland resources sector.
The next phase of project development follows on from the recent commencement of the $900 million Wiggins Island Rail Project and the opening this week of the $1.1 billion Goonyella to Abbot Point (GAP) Expansion in Central Queensland.
QR National has approached customers to work together to determine their growth plans, in line with proposed port expansions, and identify the rail infrastructure required.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) is focused on the rail transport requirements for the Goonyella, Newlands, Blackwater, and Moura coal systems servicing the three major coal export ports of Hay Point, Abbot Point and Gladstone all of which are undertaking varying degrees of expansion.
Executive Vice President QR National Network Mike Carter said the RFP process was an example of the new QR National working closely with industry as a critical enabler of world-class export infrastructure growth.
“While QR National in government ownership had worked with its customers on long-term master planning for rail infrastructure, this process is in addition to that and provides a more structured approach for near-term requirements that will ultimately lead to faster and more efficient project development for the supply chain,” he said.
“The RFP process will enable us to optimise the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain from mine to port to the benefit of multiple partners.”
Mr Carter said QR National was mid-way through a substantial investment program in new rail infrastructure to leverage the growth opportunity presented by Australia’s resources boom.
“Collectively, QR National’s committed expansions to the Central Queensland coal network will add more than 70 million tonnes of extra capacity by 2015. This equates to a significant 20 percent uplift in capacity to 300 million tonnes per annum,” he said.
QR National is Australia's largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2010/11, QR National transported more than 240 million tonnes of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. It also operates and manages the 2300 kilometre Central Queensland coal network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone.