Below Rail Infrastructure, Freight Rail

Aurizon re-opens Goonyella, details lower coal volumes

Aurizon coal wagons. Photo: Aurizon

Aurizon has re-opened the Goonyella system, and announced a 5% decline in Queensland volumes as a result of Cyclone Debbie.

The company told the ASX on Wednesday it had handled 36.9 million tonnes of coal in Queensland in the third quarter of FY17, down 5% year-on-year.

It said the decline was the result of Cyclone Debbie and associated flooding.

The flooding shut all four of Aurizon’s major Central Queensland Coal Network systems, with Goonyella being out of action for the longest period of time.

Aurizon re-opened Goonyella at 10.30am on April 26.

The re-opening ended a four-week outage while Aurizon’s maintenance, engineering and civil teams worked to repair the damaged infrastructure.

Damage included major landslips which damaged track on Black Mountain, west of Mackay.

The clearing-up of this section allowed for coal services to operate from mines across the Goonyella system, to export terminals at Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay.

“Aurizon acknowledges the assistance of customers and supply chain partners as we have worked through the recovery process to restore the network for the safe operation of services,” the company said.

Meanwhile, Aurizon announced an 8% growth in NSW coal volumes in the March quarter, to 11.5 million tonnes.

Together with the lower Queensland volumes, Aurizon achieved a total above rail coal volume of 48.4 million tonnes, down 2% year-on-year.

Aurizon’s freight volumes were down 3% to 9.0 million tonnes in the third quarter.

The company’s less-significant iron ore volumes were down 7% to 5.6 million tonnes.