Alpha Coal Project

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Largest scale coal production facilities from a single mine in Australia

The Alpha Coal Project is a thermal coal deposit in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, Australia and includes:

  • an open-cut coal mine with associated infrastructure and utilities
  • 6,000 t/h coal wash plant
  • a 495 km rail line from the mine to Abbot Point port
  • construction of a port and materials handling facilities.

The project pioneers access to the Galilee Basin coalfields and will incorporate the largest scale, single coal production facilities in Australia. Production capacity is scheduled to expand from opening production levels in 2014 of 30 Mt/y to 60 Mt/y by 2019.

In a JV role with WorleyParsons, Ausenco and Worley combined to deliver “program management contractor” (PMC) services, accountable as the Owner’s representative, to manage project delivery. The contracting strategy incorporates an early contractor involvement (ECI) process, leading through to a formal tender process and award, followed by, management and closeout and for functions associated with project delivery. The PMC is also accountable for HSEC management, construction management, project controls, quality management and commissioning services.

In Phase 1 of the project, the PMC was required to support the Owner’s development of a bankable feasibility study. Most importantly, the ECI process is designed to deliver inputs to a contract based estimate for execution of the project which underpins financial approval applications. Our objective is to deliver the project at a value equal to, or lower than the contract based estimate.

Key Challenges :

  • The Owner requires to operate this plant from a remote operations centre several hundred kilometres away from the site, which introduces some unique challenges in automation and the application of cutting edge technologies.
  • The plant site is located in an area where black soils present unique construction challenges and a degree of seasonal variability in access conditions to work areas. For example, in January 2011 the mine site and surrounding areas were isolated by floodwaters.

Project details

Commodity
Coal
Location
Queensland, Australia
Client
Hancock Coal Pty Ltd
Timeframe
2010 - Current
Solution phase
Optimise (PMC)
Project value
$7.5b