New coal equipment facility opens in the Hunter

The company's range of load, haul, dump vehicles will be just some of the equipment to be made at the facility.

Sandvik Mining has opened its $50m Hunter Valley Site facility for the manufacture, assembly and support of surface and underground coal equipment.

The site, which covers over 16 hectares with a four hectare expansion area for the future, is one of Sandvik's largest manufacturing, assembly, and distribution centres in the world.

In launching the project, the company said the manufacturing of Australian designed, developed, and built products would lay at the heart of the new centre.

The Heatherbrae site will act to integrate Sandvik's NSW facilities at Tomago, Mayfield, Caves Beach, Redhead, and two at Hexham to a single operation, and will employ around 600 workers and contractors. Added expansions could boost that number to around 750 employees/contractors.

The site's total turnover is expected to reach $200-300m a year, including manufacturing, repairs and refurbishments, and spare parts. A large chunk of these earnings, at around $40m, will be accounted for by the manufacture of Sandvik's LS range of load, haul, dump vehicles.

As well as the company's manufacturing staple, the new site will include new facilities to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint.

Among the environmental improvements will be a compressor system with a heat recovery module that allows waste energy to be used to heat water.

Sanvik said an estimated 420t of carbon would be saved per annum with the initiative. A 132kW solar panel system, which the company claims is the largest in NSW, will also power the site's offices, saving 185t of carbon emissions.

Sandvik Mining's Australia-Pacific president Rowan Melrose said the company decided to base the new site in the Hunter Valley because of the region's growing importance in the industry.

"As one of the two largest coal export regions in Australia, the Hunter Valley was a strategically important region to Sandvik.

"We remain very positive about the near-term and long-term future of the coal industry here," he said.