“The reduction in the annual rate of export coal from 106 to 90 to 86mt for 2007 (Financial Review 3.5.07) is unrelated to rail infrastructure capacity”, said David Marchant, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).
The quote yesterday from a mining company spokesman which said, “We have got a rail network which cannot cope whatsoever with the growing demand for capacity”, is not correct. The rail infrastructure is not the driver of the reduction in export coal from Newcastle. The rail infrastructure has, at this point in time, sufficient pathing capability to carry in excess of 120mt between Whittingham and Port Waratah, after allowing for maintenance of the railway line and other traffics.
Between January and March of this year, of the 6,860 paths made available by ARTC, 1870 remained unutilised.
ARTC remains committed to working with all producers, and as part of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Logistics Team, to ensure rail track capacity remains ahead of demand. ARTC is investing $389m over the next few years to further enhance the capacity of the network to deal with future growth of export commitments. The coal industry is underwriting these investments and can seek works to be brought forward.
Details of ARTC’s Hunter Valley Investment Programme can be found on its website (www.artc.com.au) under Investment Strategies.
David Marchant ARTC CEO
0419 733 201
Prue Regan ARTC
Phone: 02 8259 0716
Mobile: 0419 297 004
3 May 2007