Liberty on track

RAILS: The Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks has been awarded a contract to supply 14,000 tonnes of steel for the Australian Inland Rail Infrastructure Project.
RAILS: The Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks has been awarded a contract to supply 14,000 tonnes of steel for the Australian Inland Rail Infrastructure Project.

In good news for the steel city, Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks has been awarded the contract to supply steel for the first section of Australian Inland Rail infrastructure project

A total of 14,000 tonnes of steel rail is required for the first section, which runs from Parkes to Narromine.

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey welcomed the announcement, saying it would add to the strong order book in Whyalla.

“It will also keep the more than 40 workers at ARTC’s Flash Butt Welding Facility in Port Augusta hard at work for an extended period,” he said.

“This excellent news adds to the general air of optimism in Whyalla at the moment showing confidence in the new owner of Liberty OneSteel, Sanjeev Gupta.

“Mr Gupta has been moving in the right direction since taking control of the steel plant in August following Arrium’s bankruptcy and I have every confidence the future of steel in Whyalla will be brighter than ever.”

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the contract was significant with Australian produced steel rail to provide a direct investment to the national economy and secure Australian jobs.

“Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks will soon start rolling the approximately 14,000 tonnes of steel rail required for the Parkes to Narromine section of the Inland Rail,” he said.

“This order is the first of approximately 262,000 tonnes of steel rail needed to build Inland Rail—which is equivalent to five Sydney Harbour Bridges.”

Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann said the contract was worth up to $20 million and Liberty OneSteel will be producing the rail required for the entire length of the Parkes to Narromine section.

“This project will allow more freight to move by rail, providing benefits to motorists by reducing the number of heavy vehicles on our road network,” Mr Cormann said.

“Inland Rail will complete the spine of the national freight network between Melbourne and Brisbane, and allow a transit time of less than 24 hours.”

The steel rail is 60 kilograms of steel per metre, which will accommodate double-stack trains up to 1,800m in length, travelling at 115kph, with up to 30 tonne axle load.

The Parkes to Narromine section has been declared critical infrastructure for NSW and the entire project a priority project by Infrastructure Australia.