Centennial seeks to optimise equipment utilisation

CENTENNIAL Coal will continue to seek future cost benefits by optimising equipment usage across the group.

Staff Reporter

The company’s focus has been on integrating the Powercoal mines it bought from the NSW Government in August 2002. The focus has been on management structure, optimising productivity, equipment and systems.

More responsibility has been delegated to the “coal-face” with each mine being given greater autonomy and placed into its own subsidiary “profit center.” Centennial said this results in safer and more efficient operations and a highly motivated, team-orientated workforce with a focus on bottom-line results.

Optimising the utilisation of equipment has been implemented through an “efficient use of equipment policy”. Some surplus equipment were taken off hire and other items of plant redistributed where they could be better utilized. An “Equipment Intranet Register” was introduced to enable mine management to better plan their production, maintenance and overall utilisation of resources.

One example was the decision to order two identical Armoured Face Conveyors from DBT Australia to replace the Springvale and Angus Place AFCs.The company said this had resulted in a lower purchase cost per unit and a future reduction in operating costs upon installation in financial year 2004.

The Group said it continues to evaluate and upgrade equipment and systems, which will lead to future cost benefits.

The company’s three longwalls have all just completed changeovers after completing their respective blocks in December 2002. Centennial said these moves had been completed successfully with each longwall ramping up to full production.

“Management intend to utilise the knowledge gained at Springvale over the past two years to improve the efficiency of longwall changeovers at other Group mines. Springvale achieved its best-ever longwall changeover, two weeks ahead of schedule,” Centennial said.

In its half-year results for the six months ended December 2002 Centennial said it remains on target to achieve forecast net profit of $39.5 million for the year ended June 2003.

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