The deal will see TasRail operate up to six new rail services between Conara and Bell Bay each week and haul the bauxite in covered bulk containers utilising the existing intermodal wagon fleet, which the company estimates will remove the need for at least 250 additional truck movements per week on the Midlands and East Tamar Highways and through the Launceston CBD.
TasRail Chief Executive Officer Damien White said TasRail had worked hard to develop a sustainable freight transport solution to support the new bauxite mine.
“Winning this new business demonstrates TasRail’s growing capability to deliver innovative freight and logistics solution for industry. Since TasRail was established we’ve been able to vastly improve the condition of the rail network and replace its inherited, aged rollingstock fleet. TasRail is rightfully focused on adding value to new and existing customers and to restoring rail’s rightful place as an enabler of new economic development in Tasmania,” Mr White said.
“In the case of Australian Bauxite Limited, TasRail was able to design a logistics supply chain proposal for the Bald Hill project that is safe, reliable and efficient. Importantly, we’ve worked hard with the proponents to ensure that our service offering is competitive and integrated with the customer’s operations”.
Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said TasRail’s selection as the preferred transport provider for Australian Bauxite’s new mine confirmed the value of investment in rail and rolling stock and the importance of Tasmanian rail infrastructure in helping to drive economic growth.
“Rail continues to be a key player in meeting Tasmania’s transport task, and this decision by Australian Bauxite Ltd demonstrates that TasRail can make an even greater contribution to economic growth in this State,” Mr Hidding said.
“On behalf of the Government, I congratulate TasRail management and staff on securing this new business opportunity.”
The company said contractual and operational details of the agreement are to be finalised by the end of the year.