Fortescue is undergoing an US$9 billion expansion program which will be carried out across the Pilbara through to early 2013.
At the completion of the expansion, Fortescue operations will have an annual iron ore handling capacity of 155 million tonnes. Construction work for the rail expansion includes:
- Duplicating 120 kilometres of the mainline from Port Hedland;
- Constructing a new 130 kilometre rail spur to the Solomon Hub;
- Constructing four new bridges; and
- Two new rail loops to deliver iron ore to Herb Elliott Port.
A vehicle overpass at the existing Fortescue level crossing on the Great Northern Highway in South Hedland is included in the works program to lessen traffic disruptions caused by increased rail movements.
FORTESCUE AND THE COMMUNITY
Fortescue is accommodating the short term rail construction workforce at three existing camps along the Port Hedland to Cloudbreak mainline at Camp 25, Camp 145 and Camp 195 (25 kilometres, 145 kilometres and 195 kilometres from Port Hedland respectively).
The vehicle overpass at the Great Northern Highway level crossing is being constructed in collaboration with Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA). The vehicle overpass will be built adjacent to the existing Great Northern Highway level crossing to maintain traffic flow into Port Hedland, so as not to be impacted by increased rail movements.
The existing section of the Great Northern Highway will be rehabilitated once the realignment for the vehicle overpass has been completed. Work on the vehicle overpass is expected to begin in early 2012 and be completed in late 2012.
A public observation platform will also be constructed at the vehicle overpass to maximise the view of incoming and outgoing Fortescue trains for visitors to the area, and the local Port Hedland community.
FORTESCUE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Fortescue has been developing and operating within the Pilbara since 2005 and has an extensive understanding of the region.
The rail expansion has undergone an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment process in close consultation with State and Federal government agencies and community groups.
Environmental approval to commence the rail expansion work was granted in June 2011 and ongoing plans are in place to support Fortescue’s commitment to best practice environmental management.