QR National has inked a deal to construct the Wiggins Island Rail Project to Gladstone. The agreement with Xstrata Coal, Aquila Resources, Bandanna Energy, Caledon Resources, Northern Energy, Yancoal, Wesfarmers Curragh and Cockatoo Coal, is worth $900 million for the construction of stage one of the rail infrastructure.
Dr Ray Shaw, the Managing Director of Bandanna Energy said the rail agreement was a very significant milestone both for Bandanna and other stage one shippers from the coal terminal. The construction of the rail project is to begin in 2012 and the first railings are forecast for mid 2014. The remaining infrastructure is to be completed by March 2015.
Lance Hockridge, the managing director of QR National said that this Wiggins Island Rail Project would be one of the largest rail expansions in Australia and represents a significant commitment to the future growth of the Queensland Coal industry. He added that the project would increase exports from the southern Bowen Basin coal region by 30 per cent.
The deal is still subject to the approval of the Queensland Competition Authority. A final financial commitment is yet to be made but seems imminent. If it goes through the rail building project alone will generate close to 3000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase. It will also underpin a 27 million tonnes expansion of the Gladstone coal exports.