Asciano expands operations, as new deals loom

Asciano continues push into Queensland coal haulage market by signing 10 year contract with Anglo Coal

Asciano has continued its push into the Queensland coal haulage market by signing a 10 year contract with Anglo Coal.

The deal requires the rail operator to haul 5.75 million tonnes per annum, with the "take or pay" contract commencing from today.

This latest contract will join current Queensland coal agreements between Asciano and Macarthur Coal, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.

Asciano Managing Director and Chief Executive Mark Rowsthorn says the deal is aimed at applying Anglo Coal’s integrated coal chain model to the coal haulage contract.

"The result is a unique mixture of take or pay commitments by Anglo and performance based commitments from Asciano that matches the cargo assembly mode of the coal chain," Rowsthorn says.

And Asciano’s recent revival looks set to increase further with another announcement from the company advising it is in detailed discussions with a number of its existing Hunter Valley Coal haulage customers over upcoming contract renewals.

The company says it is confident existing contracts will be extended.

Furthermore, Asciano says it is in discussions with one of its major existing customers over a long term contract for haulage services.

Hunter Valley operations are also set to expand with the purchase of 12 new locomotives and 400 120-tonne coal wagons.

The new additions will cost $160 million and will be added to the current fleet in the region this financial year.

"The orders for new equipment follow a rigorous assessment of our capacity needs in the Hunter Valley, based on ongoing discussions with our key customers," Rowsthorn says.

Rowsthorn says he expects Asciano’s Hunter Valley volumes to increase by up to 50 percent by December 2012.

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