Ahmedabad: Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) on Tuesday said it had agreed to buy Abbot Point Bulkcoal Pty Ltd (APB), the operator of Abbot Point Coal Terminal in Queensland, for Australian $19.25 million (97 crore).

Under the agreement, APSEZ’s unit Abbot Point Operations Pty Ltd (APO) will buy Australia-registered APB from Glencore Coal Queensland Pty Ltd, upon receiving certain approvals, Adani said in a statement.

Adani and Glencore have been engaged in a legal battle for control of the operating company at the Abbott Point port, which Adani had acquired for Australian $1.8 billion from the Queensland government in 2011.

However, Glencore had retained control of the actual operations of the port through its ownership of Abbot Point BulkCoal, sparking a dispute between the two companies.

Tuesday’s announcement is seen as a step towards settling the dispute, said a company official, requesting anonymity.

The acquisition of APB gives APSEZ access to operate the terminal on a cost-plus basis with no capital investment, Adani said in the statement.

“This acquisition is a testimony of Adani Ports’ experience and expertise in operating ports at global benchmarks. This also gives us a strategic foothold, enhancing our experience of handling world-class fully automated terminals," said Karan Adani, chief executive of APSEZ.

APSEZ plans to ship coal from Abbot Point port to power plants in India, including some run by Adani Power, another group company.

Adani Group, led by billionaire Gautam Adani, had initiated the multi-billion dollar Carmichael coal project in 2010 with plans to develop a coal mine and a rail link with Abbot Point port, but the venture soon ran into opposition from environmentalists who were opposed to mining of coal. The proposed Carmichael mine in the Galilee basin and Adani aims to mine about 25 million tonnes of coal annually by 2019-20.

Last month, Adani won a major legal battle when the Federal Court of Australia dismissed climate concerns surrounding Adani’s Carmichael project and upheld the government’s decision to approve the controversial project.

PTI contributed to this story.