Energy Resources LLC has awarded Leighton Asia a design and build contract for the Ukhaa Khudag to Gashuun Sukhait freight railway in the South Gobi region of Mongolia. The main purpose of it is to transport coal from the southern Mongolian coal fields to China. The railway will start at the Ukhaa Khudag coal mine, where Leighton has a six year mining contract, and travel 225km to the international border crossing between Mongolia and China at Gashuun Sukhait.
The railway will be designed for an annual capacity of 28mt, which will be carried in 1.8km long trains. Leighton’s scope of work includes D&C of earthworks, structures and the rail line associated with the permanent alignment, as well as depot, workshop, maintenance facility and administration building works. The contract also includes four years of maintenance. About 15 months of building has been scheduled to start in March 2010.
Leighton Asia established its Mongolian office in the capital Ulan Bator in mid 2008, and secured its first contract for the development and mining of the Ukhaa Khudag (UHG) coal mine, later in the same year. Coal mining started in April 2009.
Leighton Asia’s MD Hamish Tyrwhitt said, “The railway project poses unique environmental challenges exacerbated by harsh geographic and climatic conditions. Our proven comprehensive environmental and community relations management plans implemented at the UHG mine will be extended to address the environmental issues associated with building the railway line.”