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Oakajee project granted extension with rigorous new requirements

The State Government has extended the deadline for a final decision to proceed with the Oakajee Port and Rail project, following agreement by the proponents to new requirements for reporting and finalisation of its project.

Premier Colin Barnett said granting the extension was the best way to secure infrastructure vital for the future both of the Mid-West and Western Australia.

The original deadline set under the Oakajee State Development Agreement signed in March 2009, was for Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) Pty Limited key project implementation agreements to be signed by March 31, 2011.

The milestone date has now been extended to December 31, 2011 by which time OPR’s joint venture partners (Mitsubishi Development Corporation and Murchison Metals) will have:

  • finalised all feasibility studies and made a commitment to proceed
  • demonstrated they have contracts in place with foundation customers
  • reached agreement with the State Government regarding the construction of the project and operation of the infrastructure.

“The partners have agreed to rigorous new requirements for monitoring and reporting to the Government on progress in all these areas in the lead up to the new deadline,” Mr Barnett said.

“In this period, if major hurdles are identified and the State Government considers the project to be at risk, the proponents and the Government will jointly address these issues, including restructuring the joint venture to bring in new partners.”

The Premier said under the revised timetable, construction is now expected to commence in the first quarter of 2012 and port operations are expected to commence in 2015.

“There will be no further extension to the deadline unless there are exceptional circumstances,” he said.

“This is a massive and complex undertaking and important progress has already been made in developing infrastructure that will help create a new iron ore province and major new investment in Western Australia.

“So far the proponents have spent more than $300million on detailed technical and financial studies, design work and communication with potential port users, local industries and Mid-West communities.

“For our part, the State Government has committed $678million in Federal and State funding for common user facilities at the port which includes the channel, breakwater, turning basin, navigational aids, provision for tug and pilot boat pens, port administration offices and roads and utilities. These facilities will be made available to port users on a commercial basis.
 
“We are also investing in planning to ensure that the Mid-West has the serviced industrial land, workforce skills and community facilities to enable it to benefit for the opportunities this project will generate.

“I have always said that the Oakajee project is complex; not least because of the number of players and the scale of the infrastructure. There are mines already into construction in the Mid-West and they require a railway to transport the ore and a port to export it from so the time is getting short.”

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