One of Western Australia’s most protracted railway engineering projects may be heading back on track after the mining company at its helm ramped up efforts to secure investors and engineers.
Padbury Mining Limited is charged with reviving the Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) project, which has endured mixed fortunes over the years. A crucial component of the project involves building a heavy haul rail corridor that will assist with transporting the state’s resources to global markets.
In its latest update, Padbury Mining announced that it is currently in the process of negotiating with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors from around the world. At the last count, the firm had signed more than 40 non-disclosure agreements with potential partners.
Padbury revealed that the project had enjoyed strong interest from Korean contractors in particular, although a range of Asian competitors are also vying to secure the contract.
The Western Australian government’s Department of State Development reveals that since its inception in 2009, the OPR project has faced a number of struggles as key benefactors have pulled out due to inadequate funding. Its future, then, lies in the success or otherwise of Padbury Mining’s efforts.
When completed, the OPR project promises to expand the capabilities of Western Australian mining through integrated port and rail infrastructure. It will combine a deep water port with a rail network linking it to the region’s mineral deposits.
In addition, an accompanying industrial estate will ensure it remains competitive on a global scale.
According to OPR’s official website, the railway component of the project will enable the region’s export capacity to reach 45 million tonnes per annum. Eventually, this will be extended to 80 to 100 tonnes per annum through “small, efficient steps”.
Gary Stokes, Managing Director of Padbury Mining will be speaking at the upcoming Australasian Railway Association‘s Heavy Haul Rail Conference and Exhibition in August. Stay tuned for more information on this event.