It is the third attempt to construct Adani’s new terminal after earlier tries were thwarted due to a change of state government, public concern and legal challenges.
The expansion is an important aspect for Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael mine, as the port will the export center for the coal mine should it receive the appropriate financial and government approval.
Despite being stuck in the approval process for the past five years, Adani has already $3 billion combined on the mine, rail and port project.
Business Review Australia previously reported some of the project’s hurdles, such as additional curbing around the Great Barrier Reef along the Queensland coast, as well as temporarily stopping its engineering work on the project.
Although Adani Australia is pleased with the latest progress, delays around the project have been a cause of frustration. But as the debate continues on if construction should continue, federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt recently introduced amendments in to parliament to reduce legal challenges of projects under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
However, these amendments likely won’t pass through Senate after Labor, green groups and others have indicated they won’t support the proposed changes.
Under the latest plan, Adani will pay for dredging at the port in order for the terminal to be expanded to handle exports of nearly 60 million tonnes a year.
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“This is a milestone for the sustainable development of the Galilee Basin and the jobs and economic development it could deliver for Queenslanders,” said Queensland State Development Minister Anthony Lynham. “We are putting a dredged material on port land next to the existing terminal and we are minimizing impacts to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area by ruling out at-sea disposal.”
Adani recently said delays to project approvals will also threaten the business of other miners in the area who intend to use their rail and port infrastructure.
With the price of coal continuing to fall across the globe and environmental groups such as Greenpeace continuing to target banks that consider lending funds toward the project, Adani acknowledges it may not be able to raise the $10 billion needed to get the project started even if it receives all of the approvals.