Anti-Adani protesters hold signs outside the company's offices in Brisbane yesterday Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Anti-Adani protesters hold signs outside the company's offices in Brisbane yesterday Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

Adani on track for a Christmas presence

ADANI is to tipped to start construction on its job-creating megamine before Christmas by unveiling plans to accelerate the project, which could finally spark pay rises for Queenslanders.

The Indian energy giant is preparing to sell down its interest in Abbot Point Port to finance a shorter railway between the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point by linking it with an existing Aurizon network.

About 3000 jobs will be needed to build an airport, worker site and the mine itself.

The massive workforce will likely push up wages as the labour market for construction and mining workers tighten.

Adani chief executive officer Lucas Dow said yesterday it would dramatically shorten its proposed railway, meaning it would not need to raise as much finance.

Map of the new rail network
Map of the new rail network

Initially, the cost of the rail line was about $2 billion and it sought to win a low-interest loan through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, but the Queensland Government refused to support the proposal.

The shorter, new, narrow gauge railway design will reduce Adani's capital costs by about half.

It is understood to be holding talks with Korean finance companies who are interested in buying a stake in the port. It could be done within months.

Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow
Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow

 

Mr Dow said the state would benefit from the project, but the big winners would be Townsville, Rockhampton, Bowen and Mackay.

"We're 100 per cent committed to getting the Carmichael project off the ground," Mr Dow said.

"By connecting to the existing network we can fast-track project delivery, reduce capital expenditure and deliver coal more quickly to countries in Asia with growing energy demand."

 

Adani Australia CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj
Adani Australia CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj

 

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the new line would still be able to take the original 40 million tonnes of coal a year.

"There are six proposed mines at the moment in the Galilee Basin, delivering more than 15,000 jobs," Senator Canavan said.

"This particular rail line would kick-start those opportunities. It would open up those opportunities through the Basin.

"There is still capacity there for new projects. I'm advised that, with minimal upgrades, the capacity could be up to 100 million tonnes per annum.

"That means more revenue for our country, more royalties for the Queensland government, more tax revenue for Australia and better services for all Australians."

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the new line will have the same capacity as the original version. Picture: Justin Kennedy
Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the new line will have the same capacity as the original version. Picture: Justin Kennedy

Activist groups and the Greens denounced the new plans, and were split on what it meant for the project.

GetUp!'s Sam Regester said Adani was "still ploughing ahead with its disastrous mine".

"Adani has got itself so deep into a financial mess with this mine it has no choice but to dig or risk going belly-up," he said.

Greens senator Larissa Waters said Adani needed a cheaper shortcut because it could not get private financing for its preferred longer route.

"Regional Queensland needs real, secure jobs in clean industries that will last and won't cook our Reef," she said.

 

 

Anti-Adani protesters hold signs outside the company's offices in Brisbane yesterday Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Anti-Adani protesters hold signs outside the company's offices in Brisbane yesterday Picture: Dan Peled/AAP


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