BHP Billiton lodges NCC objection over Pilbara rail

<p>BHP Billiton has launched a formal challenge to the Fortescue Metal Group’s (FMG) attempts to have the Mount Newman iron rail network in Western Australia declared a service.</p> <p>Fortescue has applied to National Competition Council (NCC) to have the BHP Billiton iron ore rail networks declared as a service under part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act (TPA) to gain third party access.</p> <p>But BHP Billiton has submitted that section 44B of the TPA excludes any function that is part of a process from being declared a service.</p> <p>"As BHP Billiton’s rail lines are part of a fully integrated process by which the company produces marketable iron ore products, it believes that the NCC cannot properly deal with FMG’s application, or declare the rail lines," BHP Billiton said. </p> <p>FMG has proposed linking BHP networks to a rail line it intends to build to form a continuous rail loop that will greatly enhance the rail haulage capacity in the Pilbara.</p> <p>It signed a deal last week with the China Railway Engineering Corporation to build a new Pilbara rail link. </p> <br />