AusRAIL, Market Sectors

News in Brief ? 28 September-5 October 2010

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> </span> <p><strong>Waratah PPP under threat</strong><br />The future of Australia’s largest rolling stock Public Private Partnership (PPP), the $2.4bn Waratah train project could be under threat, with the <em>Sydney Morning Herald </em>reporting that the New South Wales Government has indicated it is unwilling to cover a potential $357m funding shortfall prompted by the threatened withdrawal of four banks.</p><p>Westpac, National Australia Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho are seeking legal advice about withdrawing because the viability of the project’s insurers is in doubt, the <em>SMH</em> reported.</p><p>Reliance Rail, the consortium led by Downer EDI Rail, is reportedly in discussions with financial stakeholders over the funding crisis. </p><p>Reliance Rail is contracted to build the 78 new Waratah trains by 2013 , with the first train due for delivery in December.<br /><br /><strong>Viability of HSR in question</strong><br />Documents released by minister for transport and infrastructure Anthony Albanese have revealed that the government has received advice that plans for an East Coast high-speed rail network would not be viable because the cities along the proposed route are too far apart or don’t have the population to justify the cost, it was reported.</p><p>The documents contain conclusions from a study conducted by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economies (BITRE) and were released in response to a freedom of information request by the Seven Network.<br /><strong><br />Melbourne Metro meets target</strong><br />Rail operator Melbourne Metro has met its performance target for the first time. During September, Metro performed better than its predecessor Connex did for the same period in 2009.</p><p>Metro ran 88.8% of its services within five minutes of the timetable over the past four weeks.</p><p>Metro spokeswoman Geraldine Mitchell reportedly said there had been a consistent pattern of improvement over the past four months.<br /><br /><strong>Chinese locomotive bound for KiwiRail</strong><br />The first of 20 China CNR Corp manufactured diesel locomotives will be supplied to KiwiRail this month, <em>Railway Gazette </em>reported.</p><p>The contract is significant because at the time of being signed, in September 2009, it reportedly marked the first time a Chinese supplier had won an order to supply locomotives to an operator in a western country.</p><p>The locomotives are being built at CNR’s Dalian plant, and will have 20V 4000 R43 engines of 2 700 kW produced in Germany by MTU, <em>Railway Gazette </em>reported.<br /><br /><strong>Wiggins Island exports back on track </strong><br />By Dale Crisp<br />Eight Queensland coal producers have now committed enough tonnage to trigger financing for stage one of Gladstone’s new Wiggins Island terminal.</p><p>The industry-owned Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) consortium last week announced capacity commitments of 27m tonnes per annum had been received from Aquila Resources, Bandanna Energy, Caledon Resources, Cockatoo Coal, Northern Energy Corp, Wesfarmers Curragh, Xstrata Coal and Yancoal.</p><p>WICET previously indicated its development plans were likely to slip by 12 months after producers failed to meet the July commitment deadline, reportedly due to cost concerns.</p><p>However financial closure is now expected in the first half of 2011 and first shipments from 2014.</p><p>WICET says it will appoint a new board representing Stage One owners plus a representative of the other 11 members of the consortium.</p><p>It has appointed Worley Parsons to provide procurement and construction services for the first stage and ANZ Bank to secure financing.</p><p>The new terminal will be located at Golding Point, to the west of the existing RG Tanna and Barney Point terminals and will eventually replace the latter. Ultimate capacity is slated as 80 mtpa.<br /><strong><br />Williams Landing works start</strong><br />Preliminary works have started on the new railway station and road overpass to service growing residential areas at Victoria’s Williams Landing.</p><p>The new railway station is part of a $220m state government investment into expanding rail services across Melbourne, with the initial works to pave the way for major works to start early next year.</p><p>The new station is being constructed on the Werribee line, between existing stations in Aircraft and Hoppers Crossing, and will provide integrated public transport services to commuters living in Williams Landing and surrounding suburbs.</p><p>The new train station and road connection are expected to open in late 2012 to early 2013.<br />&nbsp</p>