ASX / Media Release: QR National welcomes Government announcement on Basin Development
The nation’s largest rail freight company, QR National today welcomed the announcement by the Queensland Government to help support expansion of the Bowen and Galilee Basins.
QR National Managing Director and CEO, Mr Lance Hockridge, said the development would unlock the potential of the basins and underpin their position as global centres for coal mining and export.
Mr Hockridge said as part of the announcement today by the State Government, QR National will expand the existing brownfields rail system to facilitate staged development of both basins.
He said this expansion would be undertaken in consultation with customers to ensure alignment with their development plans and to support growth of the Queensland resources sector.
“The first stage will be to expand the current capacity on the Goonyella/Newlands corridors by at least 25 million tonnes per annum to 75 million tonnes per annum by duplicating sections of Goonyella to Abbot Point (GAP),” Mr Hockridge said.
“QR National will also accelerate feasibility studies to examine expanding GAP, including duplication, to accommodate potential demand from miners.
“The scalability of the network allows for capacity of more than 200 million tonnes per annum. Part of our design of GAP was to accommodate flexibility for future growth and expandability in line with demand as the Queensland resource sector grows.
“As part of the initial expansion work QR National is committing to construction of a deviation around the township of Collinsville to minimise the impact on local residents.”
Mr Hockridge said the State Government had indicated it will facilitate sufficient expansion in port capacity at Abbot Point to support the rail capacity.
“In addition the State Government has also announced it supports QR National’s proposal for staged development of a west to east common corridor and supporting north-south connections which connect new Galilee mines to the existing coal network near North Goonyella mine.
“By leveraging the expandability of the existing rail network in this way, QR National will be able to efficiently match rail capacity upgrades with planned mine production ramp-ups.
“In line with this approach the State has asked QR National to also examine development of the Queensland Rail owned Emerald line, in order to service the southern Galilee both in terms of outgoing coal tonnages and incoming freight such as fuel.”
Mr Hockridge said he welcomed the announcement today by the State Government as it would facilitate a sensible, staged approach to expansion of the Bowen and Galilee Basins which would better match capacity to demand and minimise impact on the environment and regional and rural communities.
He said more than 800 hundred jobs would be created as part of the first stage expansion with the potential for more than 5,000 thousand direct and indirect jobs with the complete rail and port capacity expansion.