The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today accepted arrangements to remove bottlenecks on the log jammed Hunter Valley rail network.
“The ACCC decision to accept this undertaking is a key step in solving the capacity constraints in the Hunter Valley coal export chain,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel explained.
The new arrangements will allow parties, the rail, ports and miners, to now work together to remove export bottlenecks for the coal industry.
These arrangements include the:
- The negotiation of long term access contracts between users of the rail network and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC);
- Processes for new investment in the rail network; and
- Incentives to promote alignment of all coal chain contracts and efficient use of the existing Hunter Valley infrastructure.
“The ACCC is satisfied that these access arrangements balance the interests of all parties and provide the certainty for investment in infrastructure needed to meet surging demand for Australian coal exports,” Samuel said.
Currently, the Hunter Valley coal chain moves around 100 million tonnes of coal annually, and is worth $9 billion per year in export earnings.
On top of this, the rail network is also used by passenger trains, grain trains, and north-south freight trains as well as coal trains supplying local users such as Liddel Power Sstation.