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Blackwater coal rail system in Australia's Queensland to reopen Friday: Aurizon

Sydney — The Blackwater coal system in Australia's Queensland state is expected toreopen Friday at 2 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (0400 GMT) followingits closure earlier in the week due to the effects of Tropical Cyclone Debbie,operator Aurizon said Friday.

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All four of Aurizon's Central Queensland Coal Network systems --Newlands, Goonyella, Blackwater and Moura -- were closed during the week. Thecompany on Wednesday declared force majeure on Goonyella, Newlands and Moura. "The Blackwater corridor will reopen to services with some restrictionsincluding a maximum speed of 60 km/h and some single line sections wheredouble tracks normally operate," Aurizon said Friday. "Aurizon is working closely with customers and supply chain partners onthe detailed logistics planning required for a safe and coordinated return toservices, and to maximize railings for coal customers, both for export anddomestic power stations," it said.

An update on the state of the other three rail systems will be providedlater Friday, Aurizon said.

The Blackwater system links central Queensland mines from the Bowen Basinto Gladstone port.

The Port of Gladstone briefly suspended operations on Thursday but wasopen once again on Friday, Maritime Safety Queensland confirmed to S&P GlobalPlatts Friday.

The Moura system, which remains shut, also connects mines to Gladstone,while Goonyella links mines to the Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay coal terminals,and Newlands connects mines to the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.

The Hay Point, Dalrymple Bay and Abbot Point coal terminals were allclosed during the week.

The North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation announced on Thursday thatthe Port of Abbot Point has been cleared for shipping and that it will be upto operator Adani to make a decision when the coal terminal itself can resumeoperations.

Adani was not available for immediate contact.

There has been no change to the status of Hay Point port, which remainsclosed, a NQBP spokeswoman told Platts Friday. It is home to both the HayPoint and Dalrymple Bay coal terminals.

New Hope's Queensland Bulk Handling coal terminal at Brisbane port wasalso closed on Thursday.

--Nathan Richardson, newsdesk@spglobal.com--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@spglobal.com