Rail restricts Solid Energy

NEW Zealand coal miner Solid Energy said it could have produced an additional one million tonnes of coal over the past three years if rail infrastructure had been upgraded when required.
Rail restricts Solid Energy Rail restricts Solid Energy Rail restricts Solid Energy Rail restricts Solid Energy Rail restricts Solid Energy

Huntly East Mine. Courtesy Solid Energy New Zealand.

Angie Tomlinson

Solid Energy chief Don Elder said the company had lost NZ$200 million in coal exports because of Tranz Rail’s running down of rail networks, Dominion Post reported.

Tranz Rail new owner Toll New Zealand has now embarked on expanding the rail system’s capacity, enabling Solid Energy to renew plans to increase production.

Solid Energy said if the capacity increase had come sooner it could have produced an additional 300,000 tonnes last year.

Solid Energy produces 3 million tonnes of coal a year from its nine underground and opencast mine around Huntly in the Waikato, Greymouth, Westport and Reefton on the West Coast and Ohai in Southland. More than half of its annual output is exported.

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