Xstrata Coal NSW optimize coal blending and logistics

December 20, 2012 | Melbourne, Australia

Xstrata Coal NSW has gone live with a Supply Chain Planning and Optimization (SCP&O) solution from Quintiq to improve the planning of its coal blending operations and mine-to-port logistics.

Xstrata Coal NSW is the largest exporter of thermal coal in NSW, and recently won an Austrade exporter of the year award for minerals and energy. Quintiq software has been implemented at Xstrata Coal NSW, a division of Xstrata Coal, which supports Xstrata Coal's coal operations in the Hunter Valley of NSW, Australia.

The Quintiq project team worked closely with Xstrata Coal NSW to understand its unique requirements and to define the best approach to optimize results. The complexity of Xstrata Coal NSW's blending and supply chain operations required highly flexible and configurable software.

Quintiq's Mining Suite is used to optimally assign coal with the correct quality (ash, volatile matter, etc.) combination coming from participating mines to satisfy supply contracts, which typically have complex penalty and bonus conditions. Inventories, capacities and port remnants across the integrated coal supply chain are considered, as well as the commercial (accounting) arrangements within the network. Any changes made in the planning system are immediately propagated across the system, providing instant KPI feedback to the planner.

Quintiq's powerful algorithms are utilized to solve both long-term and short-term logistical constraints as well as the blend optimization puzzle. Productivity and efficiency improvements have been dramatic, with tasks such as the blend planning process being reduced from days to minutes.

Phil Moore, Group Manager Blending & Logistics of Xstrata Coal NSW, said: "The Quintiq technology has improved our planning and blending. We are now better able to manage quality of product as well as throughput, and it also allows us to be proactive in our planning."

Paul Shepherd, Director of Quintiq Australia and New Zealand, commented: "Quintiq's reputation as a world leader in optimization has come to the fore with the implementation of this complex solution at Xstrata Coal NSW. Having blending and logistics optimized across one platform will provide Xstrata Coal NSW with the best opportunity to enhance its planning and scheduling processes all the way from mine to port. When you reduce activities from days to hours or minutes, you know there is a huge return (on investment) for your client. We are extremely pleased with these types of results."

About Xstrata Coal

Xstrata Coal is the world's largest exporter of thermal coal and the fifth largest producer of hard coking coal, producing both premium quality hard coking coal and semi-soft coal. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Xstrata Coal has interests in over 30 operating coal mines throughout Australia, South Africa and Colombia. Thermal coal is used in power generation, while coking coal is used mainly in the production of steel and other industrial applications.

About Quintiq

Quintiq's Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) software enables companies to create business value by visualizing and optimizing their operational processes. Quintiq software is capable of generating the best possible planning solution to suit any business model and solve any planning puzzle, even in the most complex and dynamic of business environments.

Established in 1997 and growing rapidly, Quintiq has a global presence with dual headquarters in the Netherlands and the USA, a global development centre in Malaysia, and other offices around the world. Quintiq's APS software is in use at over 500 locations in 78 countries.

For more information, visit www.quintiq.com or follow @Quintiq on Twitter.