Progress continues for the Inland Rail project, with Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks receiving the contract to supply steel for the Parkes-Narromine section of track.
Having secured the contract, the Whyalla-based steel supplier will have to provide approximately 14,000 tonnes of steel for the section, the first of a total of 262,000 tonnes of steel rail needed to build the entire Inland Rail line.
The rail will consist of 60 kilograms of steel per metre to accommodate the 1.8-kilometre-long double-stack freight trains with up to 30 tonne axle loads that will be travelling along the line.
Federal liberal member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said that the contract was worth up to $20 million and would provide ongoing jobs for the Whyalla steelworkers, and for the workers at the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s flash butt welding facility in Port Augusta.
“This excellent news adds to the general air of optimism in Whyalla at the moment, showing confidence in the new owner of Liberty OneSteel, Sanjeev Gupta, who has gone in the right direction since taking control of the steel plant in August following Arrium’s bankruptcy, and I have every confidence the future of steel in Whyalla will be brighter than ever,” Ramsey said.
“Whyalla has one predominant industry and its 23,000 people are in one way or another reliant on the iron/steel industry- contracts like this instill more confidence in the plant and the town’s future.”
One of the seven NSW sections of the Inland Rail project, the Parkes-Narromine stretch is approximately 106 kilometres long, and will consist in upgrades to the existing corridor and a new rail connection at Parkes.
The ARTC’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently being reviewed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, and, once approvals have been received, construction works will commence in May 2018.