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Regional Australia - delivering coal to the world

Aurizon’s Group Executive Coal Ed McKeiver has given insights to the Company’s Coal business at the March 2018 event of the Resources Industry Network in Mackay, Central Queensland.

In his role, Ed is responsible for more than 1,700 employees, a fleet of 300 active locomotives and more than 8,400 coal wagons. His business – Australia’s largest haulier of coal – transports more than 200 million tonnes a year or customers across Australia’s major supply chains to domestic and export markets.

More than three quarters of this coal is being railed to export terminals in Gladstone, Mackay and Abbot Point, which is why Aurizon chose Mackay as the headquarters for its national Coal business in July last year.

Aurizon has always been a large employer in Central Queensland, and currently employs approximately 2,000 people across the region. Last year, Ed and his family relocated to Mackay as part of the Company’s move to bring more leaders and employees closer to frontline operations and customers; a strategy which Ed said was working well.

A number of other employees and their families have also relocated to Mackay, and over time, more employees will move closer to our operations, supporting our business and the regional economy. In Ed’s Coal business, 98% of employees live and work in regional communities.

Over the next ten years, Ed said there was a pipeline of initiatives to support the maintenance of the fleet of locomotives and coal wagons that service the Central Queensland coal industry, which will have flow on benefits to the Central Queensland community.

He also discussed the outlook for the Coal industry said he was encouraged to see new tonnes coming in to the market following the recent announcement of Aurizon’s new contracts in Central Queensland’s metallurgical coal rich Bowen Basin.

The first continues our long-term partnership with QCoal, where we have already started hauling coal from their new Byerwen mine. We expect railings to ramp up to as much as 10 million tonnes per annum over the life of the contract.

Further south at Baralaba Coal Company’s Baralaba North Mine, in May we will start hauling up to two million tonnes per annum, which may grow up to as much as 3.5 million tonnes in the future.

Both contracts support Aurizon’s confidence in the outlook and demand, particularly from India, for Central Queensland’s high quality metallurgical coal.

In closing, Ed said he was delighted to be living in Mackay, and proud to lead the business that provides reliable and safe rail services for our mining customers.