Pacific National Coal has locked up Whitehaven Coal’s rail haulage contract for the next 12 years.
Effective from this month the agreement will run until June 2026 and replaces a previous deal between the two companies.
The new agreement will reportedly enable a more efficient train fleet configuration as the company gears up to run full 30 tonne axle load operations due to commence next year.
The agreement volume is unchanged at 9.5mt pa under the current 25 tonne axle load conditions but is set to increase to 11.5mt pa following the introduction of 30 tonne axle load conditions.
Pacific National said the new agreement provides the certainty required to commit the new fleet configuration.
Whitehaven is also set to benefit from the new deal with an overall reduction in per tonne haulage costs and increasing efficiencies around track utilisation.
“By using more efficient fleet, less overall train services are required for any given volume,” Pacific National’s parent company Asciano stated.
Pacific National director David Irwin said the two companies have worked well together to improve efficiencies and cut costs.
“We are pleased to have worked constructively with Whitehaven to create this ‘win/win’ agreement,” he said.
“At the same time, we have materially extended the duration of our NSW contracted portfolio while continuing to meet our internal return targets.”