Aurizon backs acquisition of Wiggins Island coal terminal

Rail operator Aurizon has confirmed that it is in discussions with several parties about an acquisition and restructuring of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) in Queensland.

Aurizon said the discussions were at an early stage and there was no certainty that a transaction would eventuate. Fairfax Media, meanwhile, has reported that a $4 billion joint bid has been made to take control of the terminal and associated mines.

As part of a consortium proposal, Aurizon confirmed that it would acquire WICET and other consortium members would buy one or more of the terminal’s source mines.

Aurizon believes a consortium proposal will secure long-term volumes for WICET.

“In addition, through restructuring and the proposed introduction of lower, market-competitive port changes, there would be incentive for miners to increase throughput at the port,” Aurizon said in a statement.

“This could also incentivise expansion tonnages from existing mines and new mines.”

Aurizon, which operates rail infrastructure and train haulage services for coal customers in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, sees strategic alignment with the acquisition of WICET.

If successful, the consortium’s proposal would provide a long-term, sustainable and economic solution for this important state and national infrastructure asset, Aurizon added.