QR makes further inroads on Hunter Valley coal

Rail giant grabs 30 percent of coal market in lucrative Hunter Valley, signing new haulage contract

October 22, 2009

Queensland Rail says it has secured about 30 percent of the coal haulage market in New South Wales' lucrative Hunter Valley region, signing a new long-term contract with BHP Billiton subsidiary Hunter Valley Energy Coal.

Under the thermal deal, coal will be transported from the company's Mount Arthur mine to the Port Waratah Coal Services' terminal and to the new Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group facility, in which BHP is a major shareholder.

Mount Arthur, 120km from port, is in the midst of expansion with Queensland Rail to spend $60 million on new locomotives and wagons in the region.

Previous deals with Peabody Energy and Felix Resources mean the State Government-owned rail giant now has roughly 30 percent market share in the Hunter Valley region, according to CEO Lance Hockridge

"Our continuing success in winning new business in a market we entered only in 2005 demonstrates we are bolstering our reputation as a safe, reliable and efficient service provider against a competitor with an established position in the Hunter Valley," he says.

"With coal volumes to the Port of Newcastle forecast to double over the next 10 years we are committed to further extending our position by increasing our share of the market and capturing market growth."

Queensland Rail has targeted the region for growth, Hockridge says.

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