While previous consultation papers have covered five year periods, ARTC has responded to industry feedback and doubled the timeframe in its 2009-2018 Hunter Valley Corridor Capacity Strategy Consultation Document.
In the paper, ARTC said industry forecasts indicate demand for export coal capacity from the Hunter Valley was about 113 million tonnes per annum for this year, and is projected to rise to 127Mtpa in 2010, 159Mtpa in 2011, 190Mtpa in 2012 and 226Mtpa in 2013.
ARTC noted the short-term volume forecasts were down from the previous 2007-2012 strategy paper, with 2009 volume down 22Mt, 2010 down 26Mt, 2011 down 9Mt, while 2012 has a higher forecast of 11Mt in comparison.
“These variations to the volume forecasts suggest that producers have adjusted their expectations in the earlier years to reflect expected port capacity allocations,” ARTC said.
ARTC CEO David Marchant said the strategy paper provides the road map for its investment in the Hunter Valley rail network to meet the projected growth volumes until 2018.
“The importance of developing the Hunter Valley Corridor dictates that the coal industry has input into the direction of infrastructure investment in the region,” he said.
While the 42-page document covers a range of initiatives, ARTC said the significant project additions up to 2013 include:
- The Nundah Bank Third Road
- An option for a common user Provisioning Centre
- Two arrival or holding roads in the terminals area
- Five additional loops on the Ulan line
- Bylong Tunnel Ventilation
- One additional loop extension on the Gunnedah Basin line
“The value of the identified projects represents a significant commitment for both ARTC and the industry,” Marchant said.
“I want to ensure that the industry fully understands and supports the strategy which is why we are asking for their input.”
ARTC said comments on the strategy paper should be provided by August 14.
The document is now available on ARTC’s website, under the “Investment Strategies” section.