Dalrymple Bay plays down rail capacity squabble

<p>Babcock &#38 Brown Infrastructure (BBI) has brushed off concerns that BHP Billiton Mitsui Alliance’s (BMA) plans for expansion of the Hay Point coal terminal will undermine its own designs to bolster output from the neighbouring Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT).</p> <p>The concerns stem from reports that BMA has signed a contract with QR to secure the remaining capacity on the Goonyella coal chain that supplies both terminals.</p> <p>QR estimates that the Goonyella chain presently has a 125m tonne a year capacity.</p> <p>In July BMA raised plans to take Hay Point throughput from the present 40m tonnes a year up to 55m-57m tonnes a year.</p> <p>It has already approved one stage of expansion to lift capacity to 44m tonnes a year.</p> <p>BBI said that even if BMA went ahead to a 55m tonnes a year capacity at Hay Point it would still leave 70m tonnes a year of rail capacity to service DBCT &#8211 enough to cover its first stage of new expansion at the terminal to 68m tonnes a year.</p> <p>Beyond that BBI would be "happy to provide QR with whatever assistance we can do" to increase rail capacity of the Goonyella chain above 125m tonnes a year.</p> <p>This step might not be necessary as the expansion of Hay Point beyond the approved 44m tonnes a year first stage was "still subject to feasibility".</p> <p>"In the event that BMA does not proceed with the expansion of Hay Point beyond 44m tonnes a year, then there would still be 81m tonnes a year of rail capacity remaining for the users of DBCT, which include BMA," a BBI spokesman said.</p> <br />