Norton Rose Australia has announced it is currently advising WestNet Rail on the project financing of its $500m rail upgrade and expansion project located in the mid-West region of Western Australia.
WestNet Rail will upgrade and expand existing track between Morawa and Geraldton which is vital to the exports of various iron ore producers in the region, including Gindalbie/AnSteel's Karara Iron Ore Project and Mt Gibson's Extension Hill Project.
Once completed, the upgraded track will provide increased capability and connectivity for resources companies across the state's port and rail network, and will enable greater access to Geraldton port and, over time, complement the proposed Oakajee port and rail development.
"Rail access is a critical issue for resources companies in the mid-West region of Western Australia, especially given the current capability of much of the existing below-ground infrastructure, which was developed last century for grain haulage use," said Alen Pazin, a senior partner in the firm's banking and finance team in Perth.
"This infrastructure is critical to our iron ore and other commodity producers to enable them to get 100 per cent of their product to port and to access export markets - in particular, [China]."