Where to now for epic Indian Australian venture?
Wednesday 07 June 2017
Seventy million dollars worth of pre-construction work is expected to begin within three months in the Galilee Basin following the long-awaited final investment decision by Adani this week.
However work beyond that time remains dependent on Adani finalising the full funding of the $16 billion mine and rail project with other financiers - which may not be easy.
Already, two off Australia’s biggest banks have expressed lukewarm feelings toward coal mining.
Last year ANZ Chief Executive Shayne Elliott told the Weekend Australian they had halved their Australian coal investments and couldn’t see a time when they would change that, while the NAB categorically ruled out funding the Carmichael mine, although they have more recently suggested they would consider other coal projects.
Nonetheless, Adani's Australian boss Jeyakumar Janakaraj said he was not concerned about securing the required funding.
He instead focussed on their determination to get the project off the ground, noting they already invested $3.3 billion in the project and had just this week signed letters of award for design, construction, operations, the supply of materials, and professional services.
The company announced last week they would be securing thousands of railway sleepers from the Rockhampton Austrak depot creating more than 50 new jobs and would be using AECOM for the survey and design of their 388 Kilometre rail line.
“But we are building more than a rail line,” Mr Janakaraj said.
“We are building a line that will open the Galilee Basin, linking that massive coal reserve to markets around the world, generating power, and – importantly – creating many thousands of direct and indirect jobs in regional Queensland.
“In Adani’s case, it will link its Carmichael coal mine to our bulk loading facility at the port of Abbot Point from where it will be shipped to Adani’s power stations in India.
“While some may be looking for ways to leave regional Queensland, we are looking to the future.
Anti-coal activists say they will continue to fight the mine by bombarding Federal MPs with phone calls, putting pressure on international banks to pre-emptively rule out funding Adani, and possibly lodging a constitutional challenge to a proposed $1 Billion concessional loan to Adani through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.
However, Adani Chairman Gautam Adani says they will not be deterred.
“This is the largest single investment by an Indian corporation in Australia, and I believe others will follow with investment and trade deals.
“We have been challenged by activists in the courts, in inner city streets, and even outside banks that have not even been approached to finance the project.
“We are still facing activists, but we are committed to this project.
“We are committed to regional Queensland, and we are committed to addressing energy poverty in India.”