This file photo shows mounds of coal along the coastline of Queensland at the port of Hay Point. Abbot Point is situated about 25km north of Bowen on the north Queensland coast, about 400km from the vast coal reserves of the Galilee Basin. Photo: Reuters
This file photo shows mounds of coal along the coastline of Queensland at the port of Hay Point.
Abbot Point is situated about 25km north of Bowen on the north Queensland coast, about 400km from the vast coal reserves of the Galilee Basin.

Photo: Reuters

Australia clears Adani Abbot Point coal terminal expansion

The expansion will enable coal shipment from the proposed mining projects in the Galilee Basin, including Adani's $16 billion Carmichael mine

Mumbai: Australian has allowed expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in Queensland, which will enable shipping the fuel from mines in the Galilee Basin, including the Adani Group’s $16 billion Carmichael mine.

The latest approval, posted on the government’s website on Monday, will make the Abbot Point terminal one of the world’s largest coal ports.

The controversial expansion, which will see 1.1 million cubic metres of material dredged near the Great Barrier Reef, was granted approval with 29 riders.

Abbot Point is about 25km north of Bowen on the north Queensland coast, about 400km from the vast coal reserves of the Galilee Basin.

The approval is granted to Queensland Department of State Development, according to an order posted on the website of Australia’s environment department.

The approval, granted by environment minister Greg Hunt, will expire on 31 January 2031.

This decision will help Indian companies such as Adani and GVK Group that have plans to develop coal mines in Queensland and ship coal from Abbot Point.

Adani declined to comment.

The approval comes a week after an Australian court spiked a green group’s attempt to block port baron Gautam Adani’s Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland, and recommended mining leases.

Adani is facing a number of problems in Australia.

Adani Mining Pty Ltd, a unit of the Adani Group, wants to develop the Carmichael coal mine, which is expected to yield 60 million tonnes of coal a year. The company is building a 189km railroad to transport the coal.

Adani’s project has been opposed by green groups. Adani Australia claims the mine project will deliver 10,000 jobs and $22 billion in taxes and royalties.

On 15 October, the new Australian government re-approved the Adani Group’s coal mine and rail project in accordance with the country’s environment laws, subject to 36 conditions. Australia’s environment minister Hunt had said then that the approval is subject to “36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history".

The Carmichael coal mine and rail project is an open-cut and underground coal mine located approximately 300km inland in remote central Queensland in Australia.

“The expansion of Abbot Point, the lifeblood of Bowen, is key to Adani’s plans to deliver 10,000 direct and indirect jobs and $22 billion in taxes and royalties to Queensland," Adani’s Australian unit was quoted as saying in a statement on Australian news website ABC on Tuesday.

“Adani welcomed and willingly supported the move to an onshore disposal of dredged material last year, when a site not previously available became a viable option for proximate, well-managed disposal of dredged material. This is the third time a well-managed, strictly regulated, science and evidence-based expansion approval has been the subject of a state and federal government approval process since 2010," the company was quoted as saying.

“The approval given by minister Hunt to the Queensland government mirrors the approvals given to Adani’s mine at Carmichael and North Galilee Basin Rail projects, in that they reflect the strictest, world’s best practice environmental safeguards. Adani, working with the Queensland government, is confident that the strict conditions placed on this project will enable the jobs and economic benefits that will flow from the expansion of this vital port for exports from our state to proceed," the company added.

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