Secure coal supply chain with QR sale: Rowsthorn


With QR's freight division to be floated, Asciano wants assurances on track investment

December 9, 2009

The Queensland Government must ensure above and below rail activities in the State’s coal market will continue once the new privately-owned haulage company is created.

Premier Anna Bligh announced yesterday the sell-off of the operator's freight assets will be part of a public float, with staff to receive shares in the new company.

Asciano CEO Mark Rowsthorn says a failure to secure the network wil be "detrimental" to the Queensland coal export market and the efficiency of the coal supply chain.

"Coal chain players in Queensland, including Asciano, seek assurances from QR National that the required investment in rail infrastructure will be made under private ownership, such that the current bottlenecks are removed and the capacity of the supply chain does not restrict the ability of the coal export market to grow and provide the much needed jobs and revenue for the State and its people," he says.

Rowsthorn says Asciano is also seeking comfort from the competition watchdog that it will closely review this proposed transaction and, if allowed to proceed, will monitor the listed business and regulate the activities of the monopoly below-rail division of QR National.

Bligh says QR National is set to become a top 50 ASX company and Australia’s biggest coal transport and freight business.

"We have taken advice from our commercial advisors [to float the company], and they firmly believe that there is a growing appetite for these businesses in the market, the time is right," she says.

Related stories:

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook