AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Fortescue urges BHP Billiton to co-operate on rail

<p>Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) said yesterday (Monday, March 10) that a third railway line, proposed by BHP Billiton to transport iron ore to Port Hedland, would increase inflationary pressure in Western Australia.</p> <p>The two existing railway lines in the Pilbara run side by side for 170 km.</p> <p>A spokesperson for FMG told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> that BHP’s proposed second track would be unnecessary if the companies agreed to share the use of the existing two lines.</p> <p>&#8220It would be more economical and environmentally sound for BHP and FMG to share the use of the two existing lines by joining BHP’s Mount Newman railway to the FMG railway,&#8221 the spokesman told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> .</p> <p>&#8220Why build a third line? It would just inflate cost, when increased productivity can be achieved by creating a loop with the Mount Newman line.&#8221 </p> <p>FMG’s head of government relations, Julian Tapp, told the ABC that a second track would only increase inflationary pressures.</p> <p>&#8220There’s a shortage of skills in the Pilbara, there’s high inflation in the Pilbara and, at the same time, BHP’s pushing ahead with its investment in duplicating its track to increase capacity,&#8221 Mr Tapp said.</p> <p>&#8220If it was to co-operate with Fortescue, our two tracks could provide for their requirements and our requirements.&#8221</p> <br />