Arrium has commenced the delivery of steel rail for the major upgrade of South Australia’s rail network as part of its contract with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to supply 73,000 tonnes of rail over the next three years.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the first train carrying steel rail for the upgrade has departed Arrium’s steelworks in Whyalla on Friday. He said the steel will be used to replace old rail on the railway line from Adelaide to Tarcoola with heavier, stronger steel.
“We are boosting the economy and saving money for freight companies by upgrading this 1,200 kilometres of rail to move more freight, faster between Adelaide and Tarcoola,” Mr Chester said.
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt said the contract helps secure an order of steel worth tens of millions of dollars, creating up to 130 direct and indirect local jobs on the re-railing project.
“In addition to using Arrium’s steel for the railway, we are supporting the industry by using Australian steel across our naval shipbuilding program and by strengthening Australia’s anti-dumping system,” Mr Hunt added.
“And earlier this year the Government approved a $49.2 million loan to Arrium which will be used to purchase equipment for the company’s iron ore operations near Whyalla. We want to set the right business environment to ensure Australian firms like Arrium can grow, prosper and be globally competitive.”
ARTC Chief Executive John Fullerton said the Corporation had been busily finalising a “careful, staged roll-out plan for the project”, but had a focus on delivering early orders of steel.
“The existing rail between Adelaide and Tarcoola has been nearing its end of life and the new rail delivered by this contract will allow rail operators to carry heavier wagons of freight at faster speeds,” Mr Fullerton said.
“This means ongoing benefits from this project for Australian businesses and ultimately, consumers.”