Adani Enterprises wins Australia state nod for $15 bn coal-rail project

Written by Agencies | Melbourne | Updated: May 8 2014, 20:07pm hrs
Adani EnterpriseAdani Enterprises has won approval from the state of Queensland for an $15.4 billion coal and rail project. (Reuters)
Queensland government has approved the proposed AUD 16.5 billion (USD 15.46 bln) coal development project of Indian major Adani Group in the Galilee Basin in the state's central region.

According to media reports here, the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project north-west of Clermont will produce up to 60 million tonnes of coal each year and include a 189-kilometre rail line.

The project, which is being run by Adani Mining, would now be going for the Federal Governments final approval.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told State Parliament today that it would be the largest coal mine project in Australia and one of the largest in the world.

"The project has the potential to create up to 2500 construction and 3900 operational jobs," he said adding "jobs would be significant to the future economic prosperity of that region and to all of Queensland.

"It also includes a 189 kilometre rail line, water supply infrastructure, coal handling and processing plant, and off-site infrastructure including workers' accommodation village and airport".

Seeney said the coordinator-general's report will be handed to the Federal Minister for his decision on issues pertaining to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act under the assessment bilateral agreement.

"The coordinator-general has thoroughly assessed all matters of national environmental significance issues and recommended conditions to address every matter," he said.

"The proponent will also need to obtain a water licence, mining lease and environmental authority.

"The stringent and wide-ranging conditions set by the coordinator-general also include protections for local flora, landholder interests, groundwater resources, the quality of surface water leaving the project site, air quality, and noise and dust levels.

"In relation to groundwater and water bores, Adani will be required to reach make-good agreements with all affected landholders including the identification and provision of alternative water supplies."

Seeney said the decision represents another major step forward to unlocking the resource potential of the Galilee basin for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

Adani's $15.46 bln coal develp project in Aus gets approval

(Reuters)Adani Enterprises Ltdwon approval on Thursday from the Australian state of Queensland for an A$16.5 billion ($15.4 billion) coal and rail project in the untapped Galilee Basin.

The mine, designed to eventually produce 60 million tonnes a year of thermal coal used in power stations, has been the focus of opposition by green groups fighting new coal mines and the rail and ports needed to ship the coal.

"This project has the potential to be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world," Queensland deputy premier Jeff Seeny said in a statement.

The state's report, which set 190 conditions for Adani to meet, including compensating landholders affected by any harm to water supplies, now goes to Australia's environment minister for a final decision.

Adani welcomed the approval and said it could now move to the next stage of the project.

"We remain committed to delivering the multi-billion dollar project," Adani Chairman Gautam Adani said in a statement.

Adani still faces challenges stalling progress on the project, not the least of which is raising the money needed to build the mine, rail and port for the coal.

The port that Adani plans to use, Abbot Point, is facing a legal challenge from green groups fighting a port expansion that will dredge up 3 million cubic metres of sand to be dumped near the Great Barrier Reef.

Green groups have been attacking the economics of the project too, highlighting that getting coal out of the Galilee Basin, which is nearly 500 kilometres (310 miles) from any port, will be a loss-making prospect if thermal coal prices stay where they are, below $75 a tonne.

"Carmichael coal is low energy content and high ash, such that the mine proposal will continue to be challenged by permanently low thermal coal market prices," said Tim Buckley, a former head of equity research at Citigroup who is now a director of the U.S.-based Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, which is campaigning against fossil fuels.