The first phase of work under the contract will assist Alpha Coal to finalise the bankable feasibility study of the project, due for completion in the first quarter of 2011.
After receiving final environmental and financing approvals for the project in 2011, the JV expects to advance to program manage the final execution phases of engineering, procurement and construction development and utilise up to 250 personnel.
“The Alpha Coal Project is a significant development for Queensland, and we are pleased to be given the opportunity to jointly manage this local project,” Ausenco chief executive Zimi Meka said.
“We are looking forward to working with both Hancock Coal and WorleyParsons to manage the program of works and, ultimately, deliver this iconic coal project.”
WorleyParsons chief executive John Grill said: “This award will see the joint venture between WorleyParsons and Ausenco working closely with Hancock Coal to develop this world-scale pit to port project.”
The Alpha Coal project involves an open cut coal mine with associated infrastructure and utilities, construction and operation of a new 495km rail line from the mine to Abbot Point port, and construction and operation of a port and materials handling facility.
Alpha is well advanced with Hancock Coal having recently submitted its environmental impact statement, secured a Queensland state declared rail corridor from mine to port, and has been allocated stockpile and berths at Abbot Point for 60Mtpa.
Hancock Coal has also finalised native title negotiations and cultural heritage agreements for the Alpha Coal Project, and secured water and power connections and allocations to the minesite.
The Alpha Coal Project will ramp up to produce 30Mtpa of thermal coal via an open cut operation from 2014, with the potential for the future development of significant underground reserves.
The open cut operation has an expected mine life of 30 plus years.
Ausenco’s shares were up 13c to $2.50c and WorleyParson’s were up 27c to $25.37 in morning trade.