Apr 18, 2017

Aurizon expects $100m hit from coal rail damage

Aurizon expects $100m hit from coal rail damage

Aurizon expects to see a 19-21 million-tonne drop in coal tonnes shifted on its rail system this year due to damage from Cyclone Debbie and localised flooding.

The company said yesterday it expected a total reduction of $100–115 million in Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) this financial year as a result of Cyclone Debbie impacts, of which about $70-80 million will be recovered through regulatory processes in future years.

Three out of four Aurizon coal systems which make up the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN) have now re-opened to coal trains and are operating under restricted conditions with some reduced capacity.

Aurizon’s Blackwater coal system, which connects into the Port of Gladstone, re-opened to coal traffic on April 10, the Moura system into the Port of Gladstone on April 12, and the Newlands coal system into Abbot Point Coal Terminal on April 13.

The Goonyella coal system experienced significant damage at multiple sites and was originally expected to take five weeks to repair.

Aurizon now expects this system, which connects into Hay Point Coal Terminal and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, to re-open on April 26 with speed restrictions and reduced capacity.

This is about one and a half weeks earlier than previously advised.

Aurizon said flood repair costs were expected to be in the range of $40-50 million.


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