Government to enjoy Surat spoils

IN A presentation yesterday in Brisbane, Northern Energy managing director Keith Barker made a point of drawing attention to the Queensland Government's lack of funding for infrastructure in the Surat Basin despite potentially enjoying $A10 billion in royalties from the area.
Government to enjoy Surat spoils Government to enjoy Surat spoils Government to enjoy Surat spoils Government to enjoy Surat spoils Government to enjoy Surat spoils

Scorpion Cable Handler being manufactured at Advanced Chain Technologies' UK factory.

Angie Tomlinson

The presentation was made at the Surat Basin Coal Conference where Barker outlined Northern Energy's projects in Queensland.

Its Elimatta development, located west of Wandoan and expected to produce 4–5 million tonnes per annum starting 2012, requires rail links to get off the ground.

But Barker said Surat Basin Rail and the coal industry were investing in business development and shouldering the risk, while the Queensland Government would enjoy the income and economic growth.

“The coal industry is required to fund/underwrite infrastructure studies and design. This increases the complexity of the upfront process and slows down the rate of progress," he said in his presentation.

Northern Energy estimated that based on $200 per tonne, the present rate of royalty on 50Mtpa of Surat Basin capacity, the Government would receive $10 billion in royalty revenue.

For the company's Maryborough mine development proposal, Northern Energy has assessed using an independent coal supply chain using the currently under-utilised Bundaberg Port.

The port is located about 100km from the proposed site and is currently under-utilised for more than 300 days.

Barker said a ship-loader was in place and offered a dedicated independent coal chain using Handymax vessels – "the choice of the fast-growing Indian market in particular".

He said there was potential for a barge link to Maryborough at higher tonnages.

Northern Energy is currently drilling to confirm the mine area at Maryborough and is seeking third party participation in the project.

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