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Transport and logistics company QR Ltd announced a long-term coal haulage contract with BHP Billiton Ltd subsidiary Hunter Valley Energy Coal Pty Ltd (HVEC).
Under the contract, QR's coal business, QRNational Coal, will transport from HVEC's Mount Arthur thermal coal mine in NSW (near Muswellbrook) to the Port of Newcastle, in line with the expansion of the mine.
The mine is about 120 kilometres by rail from the port.
QRNational Coal will deliver the coal to the Port Waratah Coal Services terminal and to the new Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group terminal, in which BHP Billiton is a shareholder.
QR chief executive Lance Hockridge said the company was pleased to continue its relationship with BHP Billiton.
"With this contract and two contracts recently announced with Peabody Energy and Felix Resources we will almost double our share of the Hunter Valley market to about 30 per cent," Mr Hockridge said.
"With coal volumes to the Port of Newcastle forecast to double in size over the next 10 years we are committed to further extending our position by increasing our share of the market and capturing market growth."
To support the expanded contract, QRNational Coal will initially invest up to $60 million on new locomotives and wagons.
© 2009 AAP
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