AusRAIL, Market Sectors

WestNet Rail’s largest ever investment program

WestNet Rail has announced that it is evaluating a major investment to upgrade its rail infrastructure in Western Australia’s Mid West region.

The Mid West Rail Infrastructure Upgrade is the largest investment program undertaken on WestNet Rail’s network in the last 40 years and is an integral component of supporting the mining and infrastructure investment in the region.

The upgrade will support the emerging southern Mid West iron ore miners, in particular Karara Mining Limited’s (KML) Karara mine, located 85km east of Morawa.

Upgrades will be made on the Mullewa to Narngulu section and new infrastructure will be developed from Morawa to Mullewa, which is expected to take around 18 months to complete.

These upgrades and new rail will be enable an increase in tonnes transported on the network, initially to the Geraldton Port.

“WestNet Rail is targeting to complete a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) for the project in January 2011 and if the project terms are acceptable, to commence on-site construction starting in the first quarter of 2011,” the company’s chief exectuive Paul Larsen said.

This potentially significant investment by WestNet Rail supports the Western Australian Government’s vision for private infrastructure investment in the Mid West region, underpinning development of the region’s rapidly growing resource sector.

“Originally design for grain haulage, the network does not have capacity for the significant increase in tonnages intended to be delivered to Geraldton Port, and ultimately Oakajee Port, by existing and future customers in the Mid West,” Larsen said.

“This upgrade is critical to the ensuring rail infrastructure in the Mid West can support and enable growth.”

WestNet Rail is committed to investing in its rail infrastructure in Western Australia to enable development and growth and ensure sustainable utilisation of the network for the future.