QR National has signed agreement to construct the $900 million Wiggins Island Rail Project to Gladstone.
It reached an agreement with Xstrata Coal, Aquila Resources, Bandanna Energy, Caledon Resources, Northern Energy, Yancoal, Wesfarmers Curragh, and Cockatoo Coal, for the construction of Stage One of the rail infrastructure.
Construction is due to commence early next year, with first railings forecast for mid 2014.
All of the remaining infrastructure will be completed by March 2015.
The rail project is designed to support the initial 27 million tonnes of coal that will pass through the Wiggins Island terminal at Gladstone each year.
This project will increase coal transported from the Bowen Basin by about 30% annually.
Bandanna Energy Managing Director Dr Ray Shaw said the rail agreement agreement was a very significant milestone both for Bandanna and other Stage One shippers from the coal terminal.
QR National managing director Lance Hockridge said “this Wiggins Island Rail Project will be one of the largest rail expansions in Australia and represents a significant commitment to the future growth of the Queensland Coal industry”.
The arrangements are still subject to the approval of the Queensland Competition Authority.
It will generate around 3000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase.
The project also includes a 13 kilometre balloon loop near Gladstone, upgrades to the North Coast line, the Moura System, and the Bauhinia branch line, as well as the duplication of part of the track on the Blackwater system.