The $64 million package includes the purchase and installation of a new longwall system and shearer, and the upgrade of the coal preparation plant.
DBT and its nominated sub contractors has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the manufacture and supply of the majority of the longwall package comprising the following equipment:
149 x 1,128 tonne longwall roof supports incorporating 4,945mm long canopies and 2 x 400mm diameter legs
Armoured face conveyor, stageloader, crusher and bootend
SES/Hauhinco pump station
Ampcontrol electrical equipment.
Austral Coal managing director Ugo Cario said, "DBT will provide a proven longwall equipment package representing the most modern technology available to the Australian coal industry which in our case will be customised to the Bulli seam requirements at AustralÂ’s Tahmoor mine. On installation this will be the highest capacity longwall, in terms of roof support capability, operating in the Australian coal industry."
The new longwall system is expected to double Tahmoor's production rate and increase the mine's production potential up to 4Mtpa by 2004.
"Similar DBT installations in a number of USA and Queensland coal mines, with seam thickness characteristics similar to Austral's Tahmoor mine, have established new production records and it is our aim to emulate this performance utilising the DBT equipment," Cario said.
Austral also announced that Joy Manufacturing was the successful tenderer for the longwall shearer while Macquarie Manufacturing are supplying a monorail.
"The Joy 7LS2 shearer is recognised as a proven and established product with 49 of these machines currently operating worldwide," Cario said.
"The majority of the longwall and shearer equipment will be sourced overseas from Germany and the United States, however Austral has sought to maximise the use of locally manufactured components."
With the previously announced $76 million syndicated debt facility expected to be completed by early December, final orders for the longwall and shearer package are anticipated to be placed by year end with a scheduled 52 week period for manufacture, importation and installation in December 2003 - January 2004.
A critical feature of the supply contract, post manufacture and prior to installation underground at Tahmoor, will be a mini-build and compatibility test undertaken at DBTÂ’s manufacturing facility at Rooty Hill in Western Sydney.
"Austral Coal is extremely pleased with the final pricing outcome for the longwall package with a very competitive market for longwall equipment realising considerable savings compared to the capital cost allowances made in the companyÂ’s feasibility studies," Cario said.
The contract for the upgrade of the coal preparation plant has been let to Brisbane based coal preparation specialists Roberts & Schaefer Australia. The upgrade will increase plant capacity from 550 tph to more than 750 tph by installing larger cyclones and increasing the capacity of the froth flotation circuit. Completion of the upgrade is planned for July 2003 and the upgraded plant will be available to process coal from the next longwall panel.