Centennial Coal ups haulage capacity with new locomotives
Centennial Coal and its rail operator, Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR), recently took delivery of the final two of a fleet of seven new 4,400-horsepower C44ACi locomotives manufactured by UGL and GE.
Locomotive CEY007 wrapped in a red bow as part of the handover.
A handover ceremony of the locomotives took place in late June at the UGL production facility in Broadmeadow, Newcastle. The locomotive fleet is numbered CEY001 through to CEY007.
The locomotive class ‘CEY’ represents Centennial Coal’s Australian Stock Exchange code before it was purchased in 2010 by Thailand -based Banpu, Asia’s largest independent coal group.
The focus at the handover was CEY007, known as ‘Lake Macquarie’, with the colour red chosen for a bow as it symbolised ‘good luck’ and ‘prosperity’ associated with the parent company’s Thai culture.
The handover also celebrated Centennial’s rapid supply growth. With the introduction of the new locomotives, haulage capacity has almost doubled from previous years.
The month of May 2012 set a new record for Centennial Coal when it hauled approximately 770,000t of coal from mine to port.
Managing director and chief executive of Centennial Coal, David Moult, announced during the celebration that: “Essentially these locomotives have delivered greater operational flexibility and increased capacity, reinvigorating our coal supply chain. We’re setting new benchmarks in performance which are opening up new opportunities in meeting increased market demand locally here in Australia and throughout Asia.”
Moult continued: “We appreciate the efforts that both UGL and GE have gone to in satisfying our particular requirements even down to the finest detail such as tailoring the operator cab design and we look forward to continuing this profitable relationship as we break new ground with our new workhorses”.
The names of this fleet of CEY locomotives reflect the communities in which Centennial Coal’s 10 mines operate. CEY001 carries the name of ‘Port Kembla’ while CEY005 is known as ‘Newcastle’, both named after the ports where Centennial Coal delivers millions of tonnes of coal annually for the export market.
The locomotive livery consists of Centennial Coal’s green and a bright yellow applied in conjunction with SSR’s line work design.
The elephant symbol on the driver’s side of the cab signifies the connection with Banpu. The Kangaroo on the opposite side of the cab represents the Australian connection with Centennial Coal’s deep history evolving from the rich coal fields of New South Wales.
The CEY class locomotives are representatives of the C44ACi model, developed by UGL in collaboration with GE Transportation, to provide a standard high horsepower AC traction locomotive suitable for all Australian main line operations. Depending on designated task and fuel load, they weigh in at between 134 and 139 tonnes.
Centennial Coal took delivery over January and February 2012 of the first five CEY Class locomotives.
“Initial load trials were impressive with three locomotives hauling 50 coal wagons over the Fassifern Bank without a banker locomotive assisting,” said Moult. “This made it the heaviest lift to date for a locomotive consist on that line.”