Adani chairman Gautam Adani today gave the “green light” for the Carmichael mine and rail projects, in what he described as an historic day for Adani, an historic day for regional Queensland, and an historic day for Indian investment in Australia.
“I am proud to announce the project has Final Investment Decision (FID) approval which marks the official start of one of the largest single Infrastructure – and job creating – developments in Australia’s recent history,” Mr Adani said.
Mr Adani said the Carmichael projects would generate 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, with pre-construction works starting in the September quarter 2017.
He said the project represented the largest single investment by an Indian corporation in Australia, and he believed others would follow with investments 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,” Mr Adani said.
“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.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially opened Adani’s Regional Headquarters (RHQ) in Townsville from where the company will oversee the construction and operations of the project.
The RHQ will also accommodate Adani’s Remote Operations Centre, the first time that such a centre has been deployed in an Australian regional city.
Adani Australia head of country and chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the company had already invested $3.3 billion in the project including buying the bulk coal handling port at port of Abbot Point.
More contracts awarded
Adani today signed letters of award for design, construction, operations, supply of materials and professional services.
The biggest deal is with Downer Mining for the construction and operation of the Carmichael mine.
The company has also announced in the past few weeks contracts totalling more than $150 million for railway tracks and concrete sleepers for the planned 388km standard gauge rail link between the mine and Abbot Point.
This included a $74 million agreement for railway tracks to be supplied by Arrium Steel, Whyalla, and a $82 million contract for sleepers to come from Austrak, Rockhampton.
Mr Janakaraj announced a further Carmichael Rail Network contract with AECOM, who are regionally based in Townsville.
The AECOM deal covers surveying and design for the rail link.
“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 – generating 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.”
Early start urged
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk described the decision as an endorsement of Government’s resource policy to require all greenfield coal, mineral and gas projects in three basins to pay royalties in full with interest.
“With the final investment decision announced, I welcome contracts being completed for early suppliers to the project in regional Queensland and I urge the start to early works to support even more jobs for Queenslanders,” she said.
She said it had been only six months to the day (6 December 2016) since she met with representatives of the project to confirm that:
- regional headquarters and remote operations centre would be based in Townsville;
- a rail and port operations headquarters in Bowen;
- mining services based in Mackay;
- rail maintenance and provisioning yard in the Mackay-Bowen region;
- project sourcing centres in Townsville, Charters Towers, Rockhampton, Emerald, Clermont and Moranbah; and
- the shortlist for the fly-on fly-out (FIFO) hub is Townsville and Rockhampton, with a decision pending.
“Most significantly at that meeting, I secured agreement that the workforce for the Carmichael Coal project would be sourced from regional Queensland and it will not use foreign workers on 457 visas,” the Premier said.
“This means there will be more jobs for Queenslanders and importantly more certainty for investment in North Queensland.
“What we are seeing with the opening of this office, is a real presence on the ground here in Townsville, and a strong signal that this project is committed to regional Queensland.”