PERTH – 17 August 2011: WestNet Rail, owner and operator of over 5,000 kilometres of critical rail infrastructure in Western Australia (WA), has announced it will become Brookfield Rail, aligning with its parent company, global infrastructure owner Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (Brookfield Infrastructure).
Brookfield Rail was acquired by Brookfield Infrastructure as part of its investment, and subsequent merger with Prime Infrastructure, in late 2009.
The move coincides with plans to expand Brookfield Rail’s network capacity to meet the growing demand for open access, multi-user rail infrastructure from resource projects in Western Australia’s (WA) South West, Mid-West and Yilgarn regions, along with significant projected increases in inter-state freight volumes. Freight volumes on Brookfield Rail’s network are expected to increase by approximately 45 per cent over the next two years, from 55 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to over 80 mtpa.
Following significant historical investment in this rail system, the remaining capital costs for this expansion and network upgrade program is forecast to be approximately A$500 million over the next two years.
Paul Larsen, Brookfield Rail’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is an exciting time as we embark on a new phase of growth under our new brand, Brookfield Rail, which recognises our connection to Brookfield Infrastructure, one of the world’s leading infrastructure groups. That connection provides us with the financial strength and stability to invest in and grow our network.
“There is increasing demand for access to our network. WA’s Mid-West and Yilgarn regions continue to grow as iron ore centres and the South West is also seeing growth in alumina and coal production. Through our integrated planning with the region’s ports, our network offers mining and production projects efficient and cost-effective access to global export markets.
“In addition, as the state’s population continues to grow, inter-state freight volumes are increasing rapidly and we are investing to meet this demand.”
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About Brookfield Rail
Brookfield Rail is a rail infrastructure owner and rail access provider operating in Western Australia (“WA”) with a long-term arrangement to lease its network from the WA Government. Brookfield Rail operates approximately 5,100 km of standard, narrow and dual gauge rail infrastructure in the south west of WA which serves as a crucial transport link in the region. Brookfield Rail is the only rail network in the region providing access to markets for minerals and grain through the region's six government-owned ports.
For more information, please visit www.brookfieldrail.com
About Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
Brookfield Infrastructure operates high quality, long-life assets that generate stable cash flows, require relatively minimal maintenance capital expenditures and, by virtue of barriers to entry and other characteristics, tend to appreciate in value over time. Its current business consists of the ownership and operation of premier utilities, transport and energy, and timber assets in North and South America, Australasia, and Europe. It also seeks acquisition opportunities in other infrastructure sectors with similar attributes. The payout policy targets 3% to 7% annual growth in distributions. Units trade on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges under the symbols BIP and BIP.UN, respectively.
For more information, please visit www.brookfieldinfrastructure.com
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