Griffin Coal Exports

 
  WAGR Chief Commissioner

Announced in todays edition of the South West Times, that Griffin coal will in February 2014 commence to export via Berth 5 at Port of Bunbury 1.25MPA of coal using the existing Collie Bunbury rail line. The coal will be transported in sealed containers from mine to port.

Will be interesting to see who operates the rail service.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
This is good news for the region.  Griffin Coal has been in the press a bit lately for all the wrong reasons perhaps.  http://www.colliemail.com.au/story/1856634/griffin-coal-boss-sacked/  Suggests there have been some issues getting this venture up and running.

MORE layoffs are to come at Griffin Coal, following the sacking of operations manager Graham Cleggett. Executive general manager of support services Chris Godfrey said further layoffs are likely, although he said rumours a decision had been made to sack a further 15 managerial staff were false.
Somebody

and in the abc news

Griffin Coal says it is confident it can recover a multi-million dollar loss sustained over winter. It is believed the Collie-based coal miner lost around $18 million over a three month period. Earlier this year, Griffin's parent company Lanco Infratech was handed a wind-up notice by the Australian Taxation Office for failing to pay a $13 million tax debt. That tax debt has subsequently been repaid. The company's David Trench has told the ABC the company struggled over winter but is confident of recovering its loss.
ABC News
  Tiny Train Controller

Location: Kalgoorlie
Pretty sure this is the Qube Logistics job. Qube's crane and Rotabox system are already set up at Bunbury ready to go.

I believe the Rotabox system will be used by Iluka for Iron concentrate (with plans for the same at Geraldton), and I believe also there are plans to use it for Lithium as well.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Pretty sure this is the Qube Logistics job. Qube's crane and Rotabox system are already set up at Bunbury ready to go.

I believe the Rotabox system will be used by Iluka for Iron concentrate (with plans for the same at Geraldton), and I believe also there are plans to use it for Lithium as well.
Tiny

http://www.qube.com.au/ports-and-bulk/innovation

there is a video covering the process of unloading.  looks like a lot of double handling. the load rate is 240 TPH. how does this compare with traditional bulk handling through bottom unloading on bulk wagons?
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
further information regarding the Qube facility for Rotabox at Geraldton.

Rotabox containerised bulk system for ship loading concentrates

The skyline around Geraldton, Western Australia, recently received a new addition towering over its busy port precinct. A Liebherr LHM 280 mobile harbor crane was commissioned in early June by Qube Bulk and was immediately put to work loading mineral concentration cargoes utilizing Qube’s innovative Rotabox containerized bulk system. Todd Emmert, Director of Qube Bulk’s operations, said it would revolutionise loading and discharging cargo in the port with faster slew and luffing speeds. “We will increase our operational efficiency by 37.5%, increasing available port capacity for current and future Geraldton port clients.
Qube pioneered the design and development of container rotating tippers with integrated lid lifters and has been successful in attracting new concentrate exporters to the port as well as convincing existing port users to make the switch to a containerized bulk solution and reduce their supply chain costs. The Rotabox system enables ores and concentrates to be transported and loaded into vessels without creating a dust hazard, as the containers are lowered into the ship#s hold, the lid is then lifted when the container is out of the breeze, rotated to empty, and he lid replaced before leaving the protection of the hold.
Antony Perkins, Qube’s Director of Project Development, said “we handle a lot of concentrate through shiploaders across Australia and it’s a messy and expensive business. We looked for an alternative and there was nothing on the market so we set about to design and build our own system. As bulk haulage operations and stevedores we not only build the gear but we operate it. So we know day in day out how it operates and this has driven the continuous improvement on the design, because we use it.”
Lightweight Qube Concentrate Containers (QCCs) are also designed to minimize internal and external hang ups of product with minimal flat surfaces for container loading spillage to sit on. QCCs are also well tested with some boxes having been rotated over a thousand time under full payload with no signs of cracking or fatigue.
The containers come in a number of heights and cubic designs to minimize unnecessary weight depending on bulk density of the product and transport restrictions, up to 35 t of product is achievable in WA. Currently in its third generation, Qube’s Rotabox was designed to be self-powered with a light tare weight, making it suitable for use with ship’s cranes. This is appealing to exporters in ports that do not have access to shore cranes, like many of the 28 ports around the country where Qube is present.
Rotabox’s versatility also allows it to be operated from a shore crane and as Qube has multiple units available in Geraldton, vessels can be loaded simultaneously by both types of cranes, delivering a productivity boost. Qube has nine unit operations around Australia.
Emmer said interest in Qube’s Rotabox system has been driven by two factors. “Firstly, projects without fixed infrastructure at ports seeking to access port capacity and secondly, established exporters are reviewing their supply chains in an effort to make them more environmentally sustainable. Our system is prove to be best practice in environmental management and is well positioned to assist exporters make the transition from bulk shed and shiploader into Rotabox seamlessly.
“We are receiving dusting readings that are less than 10% of the port’s declared approval limits. At this stage, we haven’t even looked at putting in mist sprays, as the addition of water raises the potential to cause issues with the product.”
In addition to loading copper, zinc and nickel concentrates, Rotabox has tackled difficult to handle byproducts from mineral sands and refined zinc producers and is starting to export thermal coal.

specifically

Todd Emmert, Director of Qube Bulk’s operations, said it would revolutionise loading and discharging cargo in the port with faster slew and luffing speeds. “We will increase our operational efficiency by 37.5%, increasing available port capacity for current and future Geraldton port clients. Qube pioneered the design and development of container rotating tippers with integrated lid lifters and has been successful in attracting new concentrate exporters to the port as well as convincing existing port users to make the switch to a containerized bulk solution and reduce their supply chain costs.
Somebody
How are supply chain costs reduced from an alternative bottom door bulk wagon?
  WAGR Chief Commissioner

http://www.qube.com.au/ports-and-bulk/innovation

there is a video covering the process of unloading.  looks like a lot of double handling. the load rate is 240 TPH. how does this compare with traditional bulk handling through bottom unloading on bulk wagons?
JimYarin

When you say the load rate is 240TPH is that at the Mine site or the ship loading or both. If the daily tonnage is about 3500 Tonne then there is a lot of time taken up in loading etc. At 3500 tonne per day I would envisage at least two trains per day ie in 24hrs
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
The Alcoa ship loader handles 2000tph and the Worsley one 3000tph from memory. Berth 5 has rail access but not to the ships side according to their website (Bunbury Port Authority). QUBE own GIACCI trucking with a big yard in Picton. They recently built a new shed, which is huge. So maybe this isnt a job for rail?

240tph for loading a ship is peanuts compared to above. But given the cost of stockpiling and retrieving the coal at the port, and building a loader, maybe BPA is giving better port rates for a longer stay at the port. This is why the port stockpiles bulk product, so ships can load start to finish, without waiting for trains or trucks. Saves money.

A bottom dump wagon would empty in less than a minute I would think? The iron or wagons running up at Geraldton, the bottom dump, not rotary dump wagons, drop in about 35 seconds I think. I read a report about them, they unloaded faster then the maximum time allowed for the wagons.

The Alcoa train unloader unloads 4 wagons, on about a 5 minute cycle time. However they dont open up like most other wagons, they have a plate with holes in them that slides to allow product through, like a gate valve I suppose. Not sure what effect this has on throughput. The stated 5 minute cycle time is index to index with the trains. Not actual unload time.

After browsing the interwebs and looking at the relevant sites, 240tph is probably supposed to be 2400tph.

http://www.qube.com.au/ports-and-bulk/facilities/bunbury-facility

Load rate from a road hopper is said to be 1500tph.
  djukinX1016 Deputy Commissioner

I can confirm that Qube are using this system in Geraldton Port and as can be seen in this photo they have quite a few in use:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/railwa/10869426586/
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
djukinx1016 that explains a lot. Those containers, which are blue, are in use here also handling mineral sands I think from Capel? I take back my comment about it being a job for road. Not realising they stockpile containers at the port, it would work for rail to use Berth 5. Rereading the OP it was also stated to be on rail. I imagine that Aurizon would get the task having both surplus locomotives, skeleton wagons and crews it would seem.
  wn514 Chief Commissioner

Location: at a skyhooks concert living in the 70's
djukinx1016 that explains a lot. Those containers, which are blue, are in use here also handling mineral sands I think from Capel? I take back my comment about it being a job for road. Not realising they stockpile containers at the port, it would work for rail to use Berth 5. Rereading the OP it was also stated to be on rail. I imagine that Aurizon would get the task having both surplus locomotives, skeleton wagons and crews it would seem.

I think you will find that qube will supply their own locomotives and wagons for the job.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
I think you will find that qube will supply their own locomotives and wagons for the job.
wn514

Do they have equipment avaliable?

Where would they service them?

I am aware Qube do rail services, I was speculating that a local rail operator with spare rollingstock and facilities in place may be a usefull alternative. At least in the short term.

There was talk of NG locos being ordered by Qube, but im not sure where that ended up being.

I only mention Aurizon because there are about 40 BAUY wagons and at least 4 locos stored in Picton.
  wn514 Chief Commissioner

Location: at a skyhooks concert living in the 70's
Do they have equipment avaliable?

Where would they service them?

I am aware Qube do rail services, I was speculating that a local rail operator with spare rollingstock and facilities in place may be a usefull alternative. At least in the short term.

There was talk of NG locos being ordered by Qube, but im not sure where that ended up being.

I only mention Aurizon because there are about 40 BAUY wagons and at least 4 locos stored in Picton.
DBclass

you may be right DB. I am only going on what a mate who used to drive trains for qube told me last year that they were going to run containerised coal trains for griffen earlier this year but it has been put on hold until next year due to griffen having a few problems.
  WAGR Chief Commissioner

you may be right DB. I am only going on what a mate who used to drive trains for qube told me last year that they were going to run containerised coal trains for griffen earlier this year but it has been put on hold until next year due to griffen having a few problems.


Yes its all very interesting, I know very little about Qube and there operations. In fact I know SFA about Qube but what I do know is that rail operations require Locomotives and rolling stock to be serviced. So Bunbury port has no surplus of trackage, Picton would appear to be totally utilised by Aurizon  and Transwa. So does that mean that Qube may set up a servicing depot at West Collie. Like I say interesting stuff ahead and only a few months to go
wn514
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
I had similar thoughts WAGR, that there is no current, convienient place to put up a new service shed. If they do use their own locos and rolling stock, which to my knowledge I havent heard of any arriving, they may do field servicing. Depending on what the locos were powered by, you could probably get specialist help locally. There is Cummins, Cat, and a GE center/ dealer/ servicer in Bunbury in one shape or another.

Brunswick would be another location for a possible depot, but thats ARG/ Aurizon, so...

Collie could support one, there is ample room up there, but Aurizon may not be happy about it. My only other thought is if one was built at Griffin itself. That would severely limit the capacity for Qube in the future as its not a good spot for a general depot. However, if they built one small enough for the job it could work.

Heres a nugget though. Picton container terminal has ( i suspect ) recently had what appears to be locking apparatus for its points in the yard. Why this is being done and why its needed is beyond me. But, if Aurizon are to be running these trains, they will need a place to put them. I dont think that Picton yard, or Collie yard can stable any more trains (they actually stable trains in the Picton Junction already). Brunswick has one road where a train can be stabled, but not a full 40 wagon train. Are these improvements wide spread or just at Picton Container Terminal as an improvement for future operation such as stabling of a coal train?

It would be good to see Qube run trains down here. The competition that privatisation would supposed to stir up hasn't yet eventuated.

In the short term I wouldnt be surprised if road haulage was used either, until something changes.

One of my friends got his job back at Griffin recently after being let go a month or so ago with many others. Not sure if they are all back now, but I am not surprised by the re hiring.
  wn514 Chief Commissioner

Location: at a skyhooks concert living in the 70's
I had similar thoughts WAGR, that there is no current, convienient place to put up a new service shed. If they do use their own locos and rolling stock, which to my knowledge I havent heard of any arriving, they may do field servicing. Depending on what the locos were powered by, you could probably get specialist help locally. There is Cummins, Cat, and a GE center/ dealer/ servicer in Bunbury in one shape or another.

Brunswick would be another location for a possible depot, but thats ARG/ Aurizon, so...

Collie could support one, there is ample room up there, but Aurizon may not be happy about it. My only other thought is if one was built at Griffin itself. That would severely limit the capacity for Qube in the future as its not a good spot for a general depot. However, if they built one small enough for the job it could work.

Heres a nugget though. Picton container terminal has ( i suspect ) recently had what appears to be locking apparatus for its points in the yard. Why this is being done and why its needed is beyond me. But, if Aurizon are to be running these trains, they will need a place to put them. I dont think that Picton yard, or Collie yard can stable any more trains (they actually stable trains in the Picton Junction already). Brunswick has one road where a train can be stabled, but not a full 40 wagon train. Are these improvements wide spread or just at Picton Container Terminal as an improvement for future operation such as stabling of a coal train?

It would be good to see Qube run trains down here. The competition that privatisation would supposed to stir up hasn't yet eventuated.

In the short term I wouldnt be surprised if road haulage was used either, until something changes.

One of my friends got his job back at Griffin recently after being let go a month or so ago with many others. Not sure if they are all back now, but I am not surprised by the re hiring.
DBclass
the locking apparatus has been installed on all points in aurizon yards statewide. as for servicing locos you only have to look at what watco do. they have fuel trucks following there locos around the state.
  Tiny Train Controller

Location: Kalgoorlie
AFAIK, there is no way in hell that Aurizon - a competitor to Qube - would be hauling Qube's trains!

I've written in another thread about Qube ordering 200+ narrow gauge container wagons - one can only assume that some of those, at least, will come to here.

As for these comments about "Aurizon won't want to let Qube have access to their yards", well, of course not! Would you blame them? But Aurizon don't own the track (Brookfield does!), only parts of it.

The advantage to the Qube Rotabox system is as follows:
1. Storage of product without having to build expensive port infrastructure. One mining company in Geraldton managed to sell their port lease (yes, lease. Not owned) for $13.5 million to another mining company when they started using Qube's containers. All Qube need is a large, flat area within easy travelling distance of their crane. In Geraldton, this is currently the old CBH bullring, and the round trip to the crane is about 5km. Normal shiploading activity sees 5 double road trains running circles to the port every 45-50 minutes, with containers netting between 23 and 36 tonnes each. Do the sums - average 30 tonne containers, at 13 containers an hour - 390 t/h. Of course, that will vary with different products and density.

2. Product integrity. Shippers products are stored in a sealed container, preventing dust issues for the surrounding areas, and preventing contamination of the product by other contaminants in the area.

3. Dust management. A lot of mineral products today are either very dusty, or toxic, or both. A perfect example is the Lead Carbonate shipped out of Esperance. Typical shiploaders run product from a dusty shed environment where conveyor belt are loaded with bulldozers or front-end loaders, up a partially open conveyor belt incline into a chute. Normally, this chute ends 5-10 metres above the open hold of a ship, meaning that the product falls through that gap before entering the sheltered hold - and it is through this gap that the wind blows dust away from the ship. A lot of shiploading activities take place only when the dust will be blown towards the sea, and not over the towns around the ports. The Rotabox system, however, sees the containers lowered inside the hold of the ship for unloading - when the boxes are tipped out, the product is protected from the elements inside the hold, and so dust contamination outside of the ship is as litlle as 2% of typical shiploading techniques.

It is obviously a worthwhile system - there are currently 3 clients using the system in Geraldton, with a 4th to come on line early 2014.

What this system should be making people see, is that speed is not everything. It doesn't matter if a wagon can be discharged in less than a minute, if it's going to end up costing the company millions of dollars in clean up fees and destroy their PR value.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

In Queensland at least, Aurizon and Qube do have a pretty good relationship. Qube operates the Acacia Ridge terminal for PN and Aurizon, the meat trains from Townsville and Rockhampton to Brisbane are operated by Aurizon for Qube, and Aurizon is now hauling Qube Rotabox containers between Townsville, Cloncurry and Mt Isa for Qube. That's not to say Qube won't eventually take over these services or operate their own trains in WA, but I wouldn't totally rule out some sort of cooperative agreement. Nor would I rule out the long term possibility of Aurizon eventually moving to acquire Qube.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
AFAIK, there is no way in hell that Aurizon - a competitor to Qube - would be hauling Qube's trains!

I've written in another thread about Qube ordering 200+ narrow gauge container wagons - one can only assume that some of those, at least, will come to here.

As for these comments about "Aurizon won't want to let Qube have access to their yards", well, of course not! Would you blame them? But Aurizon don't own the track (Brookfield does!), only parts of it.

The advantage to the Qube Rotabox system is as follows:
1. Storage of product without having to build expensive port infrastructure. One mining company in Geraldton managed to sell their port lease (yes, lease. Not owned) for $13.5 million to another mining company when they started using Qube's containers. All Qube need is a large, flat area within easy travelling distance of their crane. In Geraldton, this is currently the old CBH bullring, and the round trip to the crane is about 5km. Normal shiploading activity sees 5 double road trains running circles to the port every 45-50 minutes, with containers netting between 23 and 36 tonnes each. Do the sums - average 30 tonne containers, at 13 containers an hour - 390 t/h. Of course, that will vary with different products and density.
Tiny

this is a good overview appreciate you posting.

one question. can the rotax system be emptied directly from the wagons on the train or does the load need to be removed from the train and placed onto a storage area where trucks are then required?
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
this is a good overview appreciate you posting.

one question. can the rotax system be emptied directly from the wagons on the train or does the load need to be removed from the train and placed onto a storage area where trucks are then required?
JimYarin

Looks like as per the photo above that they need to be stored. They could unload from the train I would think but they would then have to wait for the next train. Which would hold up the ship. Storing them solves this problem. Berth 5 in Bunbury does not have ship's side rail access. The gap is maybe 50 meters.

Sometimes Tiny companies out source work to expand their capabilities without buying equipment. Its actually quite smart, but long term isnt so great. Renting equipment is another example, which everyone these days seems to do.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Heard a rumour, confirmed by another person, but still could be fasle though 'I' suspect it to be true also as the indicators are there. Our beloved railway line will not be seeing the Griffin Coal exports, instead, it will be road hauled. Given the lack of QUBE rail facilities, locomotives, rollingstock, etc, and that QUBE bought as already mentioned, GIACCI, which does road haulage AND stevedoring, it seems a bit suspicious to me.

To add to this, the Raymond road Perth Bunbury Highway intersection has been upgraded, aparently for this purpose, although it really did need it anyway. The Preston River road bridge between Willinge Drive and the port access road/ gate house, recently recieved emergency upgrade/ repair work, which also coincides with more severe road haulage coming in, as its the main path off Willinge Drive. I believe it was underated for the task as it stood and was not capable of handling heavy road haulage. I suppose now it is 'ok'.

The coalfields highway has been upgraded in the past year or two. With the road around Moorhead completely changed, and now, a second lane I believe is going in between the main grade (Roelands hill) and the very top of the first hills. This could also be because of the expected increase in road hauled grain, given that Bunbury Port now also has wheat silos for exporting grain.

I hope we are all wrong about this, but coal exports were supposed to start in February this year, and I dont see rail happening, unless I am missing the obvious.

To add, Aurizon are not taking on trainee drivers in the first half of this year.

I keep hearing that the SW rail line is at capacity.

Can anyone advise any different?
  Kafoopsy Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth, WA
SW rail line at capacity?  Then why can I sit there for hours and not see anything?  Smile
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
SW rail line at capacity? Then why can I sit there for hours and not see anything? Smile
Kafoopsy

That is pot luck. Other times you can get 3 or 4 trains in 20 mins. Maybe near capacity was a better description. The Picton- Brunswick section averages 42 trains a day I think. Almost one every half hour, with most section times about 20 mins.
  8888 Chief Commissioner

Location: Shire of Mundaring
That is pot luck. Other times you can get 3 or 4 trains in 20 mins. Maybe near capacity was a better description. The Picton- Brunswick section averages 42 trains a day I think. Almost one every half hour, with most section times about 20 mins.
DBclass

Avoid Wednesdays - Alcoa maintenance day!
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Kafoopsy is right.  The general North American experience is that a single track railway reaches maximum saturation at about 48 movements per day so if sections of railway are at 41/42 then it becomes very hard to push it any higher taking account of late running or other disruption.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
They generally do a pretty good job of scheduling trains with meets timed fairly well. Rumour I hear is that Worsley doesnt want their track space compromised. It wouldnt be hard for them to make that happen either. I also hear they would like (not are going to) to buy their own locomotives to pull their stock.

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