BMA plans to use its own trains to move coal

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance will start loading its own coal trains from 2014 after announcing plans to run trains from mines in the Bowen Basin.

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance will start loading its own coal trains from 2014 after announcing plans to run its  trains from mines in the Bowen Basin.

Illustrations released yesterday show the blue, yellow and orange trains BHP plan to use in the shipping of their coal.

Despite still being tied to commercial contracts with QR national, the news trains will deliver a percentage of BHP’s coal to port, while QRN will still transport the rest, the Daily Mercury reported.

BHP Billiton coal chief executive Marcus Randolph, said once the trains start running, the miner will be able to negotiate a better deal with QRN in 2015.

"Because the great majority of our rail contracts rollover in fiscal year 2015, we're creating another way of ensuring that we have competition in that basin and – this is in our words – we're putting a ceiling on what we expect to pay for rail transport to get the coal from our operations to our port," Randolph told a conference in Sydney this week.

"Having our own rail system, operating it in your own port system is a hell of a strategic advantage in terms of making choices as you go forward."

A spokeswoman for BMA said the trains would deliver coal to Hay Point Coal Terminal while operating on the current rail network.

In July, BMA awarded Siemens a contract to supply 13 locomotives capable of hauling approximately 15 million tonnes of coal from pit to port.