QR National awards contract for Wiggins Island Rail Project
QR National has awarded a $76m contract for the Wiggins Island Rail Project – one of Australia’s largest rail infrastructure projects – to Abigroup.
The Wiggins Island Rail Project involves the staged development of new rail lines and upgrading of existing lines to service the new Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal at the Port of Gladstone, creating a vital link between the export terminal and mines in the Southern Bowen and Surat Basins.
Stage One of the project is made up of interdependent sub-projects across the Central Queensland coal rail network.
Abigroup will undertake the civil works for the 13 kilometre balloon loop near Gladstone, where coal trains will be unloaded at the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.
QR national network executive vice president Michael Carter explained that the Balloon Loop is one of six key worksites for Stage One of the project and is the first major contract for the Wiggins Island Rail Project which is scheduled to start railings for customers from mid-2014. The other five are the Rocklands to Stanwell Duplication, Dingo to Bluff Duplication, Moura East upgrade, North Coast Line upgrade and Bauhinia North Branch upgrade, he added.
Carter said the Wiggins Island Rail Project formed a central part of QR
National’s coal infrastructure expansion program that is adding more than 70 million tonnes of capacity to the Central Queensland coal network, taking total capacity to in excess of 300 million tonnes by 2015.
“The Wiggins Island Rail Project will support the initial 27 million tonnes per annum of coal to Wiggins Island Coal Terminal and leverages our existing rail infrastructure to boost coal exports from the southern end of the Bowen Basin,” he said.
QR National’s announcement of the Abigroup contract follows the company’s signing of an agreement with a consortium of coal companies to construct the Wiggins Island Rail Project to service the new export terminal at Gladstone. The new and upgraded infrastructure will service QR National’s Stage One mining customers: Xstrata Coal, Aquila Resources, Bandanna Energy, Caledon Resources, Cockatoo Coal, Northern Energy Corporation, Wesfarmers Curragh and Yancoal.
Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal is designed to assist coal companies to meet increased global demand for thermal and metallurgical coal. Once fully commissioned, the multi-billion dollar industry-owned and privately funded terminal will provide over 80 million tonnes per annum in export coal capacity, effectively doubling existing coal export capacity at the Port of Gladstone.
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