The Coal Trader

April-May maintenance to close Blackwater Rail System

Australian rail firm Aurizon will close the 50mn t/yr Blackwater coal system in Queensland over 13-17 April for maintenance, with further closures scheduled for May.

The firm, which operates the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN), confirmed that it plans to close its 60mn t/yr Goonyella system during 1-3 May, its 15mn t/yr Moura system for 14-16 May and Blackwater again during 27-29 May, as part of an annual planned maintenance programme. The only CQCN system not included in the maintenance programme is the 15mn t/yr Newlands system.

Blackwater and Moura deliver coal to the port of Gladstone from the southern end of the Bowen basin. Goonyella delivers to the adjacent ports of Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, which is a multi-user facility, and BHP-operated Hay Point from the central Bowen basin. Newlands delivers to Abbot Point from the northern Bowen basin.

Aurizon, Pacific National, BHP and some smaller coal haulage operators use the CQCN.

Aurizon is targeting a 5pc year-on-year growth in coal haulage by its fleet across the CQCN and New South Wales/southern Queensland in the 2023-24 fiscal year to 30 June. This implies a target of 194mn t for 2023-24. It hauled 94mn t during July-December, leaving it a target of 100mn t for January-June.

By Jo Clarke