Big news in small print
ADANI zeros in on Townsville and sets clock ticking for defining decision
Wednesday 07 December 2016
Adani has reaffirmed its commitment to Townsville as its regional headquarters and more importantly set a time frame for the critical final investment decision for it’s Carmichael mega-mine.
As far back as 2015, Adani confirmed to Shift Miner that Townsville was a preferred supply point for its mines because highway access was considered safer for essential commodities like fuel. However, this week Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani made that preference clearer, announcing that they intend to locate their regional headquarters and Remote Operating Centre there - should the mine go ahead.
Mr Adani also flagged important roles for other Central Queensland towns, including Bowen for its rail & port headquarters, Mackay for mining services, and possibly Rockhampton as a FIFO hub - although that role may also end up in Townsville.
While the news has been welcomed by mining regions who have been struggling through the mining downturn, it’s not yet an iron clad guarantee that the project will ever happen.
Adani still needs to make the all important multi-billion dollar final investment decision (FID) which will confirm the project, and remove all the uncertainty that has clouded this enormous intergenerational project for nearly a decade.
Hidden among all the media, politics and publicity this week was the most important message - that the board of Adani would meet soon to make its FID.
Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the project was "back on track" after a series of court challenges, and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the ABC’s Queensland Country Hour she understood from high-level discussions that a FID was just months away.
“They have already spent over a billion dollars,” she told the ABC
“I understand the board will be meeting very early in the new year [to make a decision on the FID], and they are very happy with the process, and they are already starting to advertise for positions.
“What the state government and the federal government have been able to do is assure them that all the necessary approvals that they need are granted with strict conditions.”
The Queensland Resources Council’s CEO Ian Macfarlane has also voiced a word of warning about time frames.
“I would like to applaud the state and federal governments for their support of the project,” he said.
“However we are still a long way from the finish line thanks to the foreign-funded green activists.
“The green activists are responsible for holding up this project and therefore taking away jobs and revenue from the people of this state.
“The Adani project still faces multiple court cases from the green activists, most of who reside in inner-city suburbs, hundreds or thousands of kilometres from the project.
“This is why the QRC has called on both levels of governments to overhaul the loopholes in the current legislation that enable green activists to repeatedly hold up projects in court.”
This week the Queensland's Coordinator-General also announced approval for about 31.5 kilometres of permanent rail track, as well as the 300-bed rail workers construction camp.
The section of track approved will form part of the 200-kilometre railway line required to connect the proposed Carmichael mine with the Abbot Point Coal terminal
The Carmichael mine - if it goes ahead - would create 2500 construction jobs and almost 400 permanent jobs when it is operational. A massive workers’ accommodation village will also be built near Alpha, alongside an airport to service the mine.
At full capacity, the mine is expected to produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal per annum for export.
The Queensland’s coordinator-general signed off on the project in April this year on the proviso it met 190 conditions listed in a 600-page report.