BHP steams ahead with Pilbara expansion

$500 million joint venture contract announced

A Macmahon Holdings and Leighton Contractors joint venture has been awarded a contract valued at more than $500 million by BHP Billiton Iron Ore for the double tracking of sections of the Mt Newman rail line, which forms part of the Rapid Growth Project 5 (RGP5).

Macmahon, and its subsidiary MVM Rail, will be providing project management personnel, operating labour and equipment to the fully integrated joint venture team.

The contract requires the joint venture partners to duplicate 220 km of the existing railway line, between Port Hedland and Shaw Siding on the Mt Newman Line, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The contract works include:

– construction of more than 1,000 camp rooms complete with kitchens and recreation facilities;

– 1.2 million cubic metres of earthworks;

– construction of 10 new dual track bridges;

– laying of all required track to duplicate the existing 220 kilometre railway line; and

– installation of 840 kilometres of fibre optic cable.

Work will begin on site immediately and is expected to be completed during the second half of 2010, with the joint venture encouraging a high level of Indigenous participation on the project.

Macmahon Holdings CEO Nick Bowen said that the Macmahon Leighton joint venture team were looking forward to working together on this large and exciting project.

“This contract win builds on the positive working relationship we have developed as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Leighton Holdings last year,” he said.

“The award of this contract further demonstrates the strong relationship we have developed with BHP Billiton over the years. We are very pleased to work on this significant project which will provide BHP Billiton with additional capacity in the Pilbara region,” Bowen said.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.