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Shifting sands in the Galilee Basin

Wondering what’s happening with Adani?

Well there have been a few developments of late.

Adani’s original plan was to use the coal from the Carmichael mine in its own generators at the Mundra power plant in Gujarat, India.  Except Adani Power Mundra is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Faced with mounting operational losses, they have already started scaling down generation from the Mundra plant. The average plant load factor in the January-March 2018 quarter dropped to 37%, from 73% a year ago.

Currently Adani Power has debts of about $US7.4bn, having lost $US927m last year and $US317m this year.  They tried to give the government a 51% stake in the Mundra plant for a token amount of Re 1 but they weren’t interested.

If the Adani firm gets bankruptcy protection from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), there will be a 180-day moratorium on repayment of loans. During this period, the borrower and lenders will try to work out a repayment plan. If no plan is agreed to within the stipulated time frame, lenders can sell off borrower’s assets to recover their dues.

Meanwhile, back in Australia…..

Last month, the Townsville Bulletin said Adani would sublet 600sqm of office space at its Townsville headquarters.  Then a few days ago, they reported that Townsville City Council, sick of waiting, is redirecting $18.5 million earmarked for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine airport to shovel-ready projects around the city.

But you have to admire the perseverance of Adani in trying to get money out of our governments.

In May it was revealed that Adani will pay for Isaac Regional Council to hire four extra staff.  A week later, the ABC reported that the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Office of the Coordinator-General were negotiating terms with Adani and Isaac Regional Council for a $100 million upgrade of local dirt roads to give Adani year-round access to the proposed Carmichael mine site in central Queensland.

Adani had previously committed to carrying out the upgrade of Moray-Carmichael Road and the Elgin-Moray Road in order to keep it open in the wet season, a commitment noted in a coordinator-general report in 2014.  But hey, why look a gift horse in the mouth.

The various Indian governments want no part of Adani’s coal-fired power generation companies but here, our local and state governments want to build them roads and airports and our federal government wants to build them railways and ports.

Renewables are gathering pace in India. The Gujarat government announced last month it would build the world’s largest solar project, a 5000MW solar park that would be sufficient to replace the state’s lost power from Mundra.

Adani’s own renewables arm, Adani Green Energy, is poised to launch on the Indian stock exchange.

But here, we have Tony Abbott saying he was “misled by bureaucrats” and that our 2030 emissions reduction target was merely “aspirational”.  We have Craig Kelly and Matt Canavan insisting that the nation’s well-being relies on coal.

And we have a re-emergent Clive Palmer who, after successfully getting rid of the carbon price and mining tax in his last foray into politics, may well have his sights set on getting a slice of some government money for himself.

Waratah Coal, the company owned by Palmer’s Mineralogy, told the ABC in February last year that it had made an application to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to finance a proposed 900MW “clean coal” generator that would help provide electricity to Galilee coal mines planned by Palmer himself, Gina Rinehart, and Adani.

They say they will use carbon capture and storage by burying the emissions from the coal plant under the very same coal province that the three mining groups propose to mine – except that it will be “sequestered” in an “un-mineable” area of coal seams some 1km underground – a proposal that experts say is not commercially viable unless, of course, you get a shitload of government money to do it.

Then yesterday morning, we hear that Annastacia Palaszczuk told the Queensland Parliament that they would consider a taxpayer-funded loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to unlock the state’s Galilee Basin coalfields if it were sought by a company other than Adani, just no-one has asked….yet.

In a statement, Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said Labor’s election commitment related specifically to Adani.

“The Palaszczuk Government has maintained its election commitment to veto any NAIF loan for the Adani Carmichael Coal Project.  The Queensland Government is not aware of any other active NAIF proposals relating to mining development in the Galilee Basin.”

Will Gina start bestowing gifts on Matt Canavan?  Will Clive make a comeback?  Will the dinosaurs of the Monash Forum prevail?  We can’t subsidise renewables but we give billions to coal barons?

How ridiculous it all is.


12 comments

  1. New England Cocky

    Check out “Gina Rinehart and the Galilee” Karen Middleton, The Saturday Paper, 161217 that reports GVK Hancock Coal has a proposal for three major central Queensland coal mines, Kevin’s Corner, Alpha and Alpha West in the Galilee Basin spanning about 270,000 sq km inland from Bowen and extending south to inland from Rockhampton, and a railway link to the coast.

    With the NAIF an opaque slush fund for National$ Party donating financial patrons, and Gina cuddling up to Barnyard et al, a political skeptic could reasonably conclude that GVK Hancock has its eye on receiving all or part of the $1 BILLION proposed for the now defunct Adani project.

    Middleton notes:

    “It seems the Queensland government may yet support the competitor rail line proposal, despite having suggested during the election campaign that ti would not.

    Bad news for Adani may be good news for Arizona and GVK Hancock.”

    This is a story that we all must watch for the sake of our diminishing common wealth of Australian voters.

  2. etnorb

    What a bloody mob of lying, obscenely wealthy mining moguls we now have! They are trying (again?) to convince Federal parliament that coal is good, coal is clean & we must have more coal, not less! WTF?? Couple this with this bloody Adani mob who are quite possibly going to go bankrupt, yet they still want to open their bloody proposed coal mine in Qld, even though, so far (hope!) no Australian government is yet to “assist” them with a loan or other concessions. We definitely do not “need” any further coal mines opened in Australia, we definitely do not “need” any Adani crap whatsoever–they originally talked about 1000 jobs or some huge amount, which was proven to be just lies!–they are trying like hell to get “something” done with their Qld. proposal, to no avail so far, & yet they keep on trying! We DO NOT need foreign owned so-called mining magnates to rape & pillage & destroy our countryside, we do not need them at all!

  3. Peter F

    Adani was always a front for Gina.

  4. guest

    First of all, this government is policy-bankrupt because the only jobs they offer to coal miners is more coal mines. What is distinguished by its absence is any discussion of the problem of Climate Change. There is a great deal of “virtue-signalling” (a Murdoch word) about saving millions from poverty by burning coal. No real understanding about what burning coal means for the environment and human health. No understanding of how futile the notion of “clean coal” is. Just a lot of public expression of ignorance spruiked as some kind of Fossil Fuel Religious dogma by the high priests of bluff and blunder National Energy Guarantee.

    What is guranteed is that with this crowd of victim-flaggers who hate the ABC will be revealed for what they are. They blame the ABC for their failures, whereas their failures are the result of their own incompetence. And a sure and certain example of that failure is its pathetic understanding of the science (not just opinion or religion) but the science of Climate Change. Their problem lies in the fact there is no comprehensive science contrary to the to the science of Climate Change. And the evidence is all there before us.

  5. DrakeN

    Thank you, Kaye.

    Exposing the medacity of both the governments’ and commercial interests involved in this charade is a kindness to a general public which is unable and/or unwillng to do it for itself.

    That we are continually being lied to, deliberately misdirected and manipulated to our own detriment is a bitter pill to swallow; one which requires more than just “a spoonful of sugar”.

  6. Matters Not

    Thanks KL, there’s some new stuff here I wasn’t aware of. While the Adani bubble seems to have burst (Ron Watson their media spokesman also died at the end of the year), there’s a long queue of scammers ready to fill the space and Canavan still has a mountain of cash to spend. While Palmer is an unlikely recipient, politics makes for strange bedfellows.

    We can be reasonably certain that Canavan will spend it. He’s not about to die (politically) and leave a treasure chest for his successor. So there must be something in the pipeline that will aid and abet his re-election.

    Perhaps a House of Ill Fame in the heart of Rocky to remember … there’s so many.

  7. totaram

    Guest: There are no failures and there is no incompetence, except when it comes to spinning lies about what they are doing. They understand everything. They just try to show that black is white, which is where the incompetence shows up. Never underestimate the enemy.

  8. paul walter

    Almost slipped under my radar.

    Sharing elsewhere.

  9. Frank Smith

    “How ridiculous it all is” indeed Kaye Lee. Gina and her partner GVK Reddy have always flown under the radar whilst Adani has taken the heat. I have been amazed that most Australians seem to have conflated the two quite independent Indian family industrial conglomerates Adani and Gunupati Venkata Krishna Reddy (Mr GVK). It was not an Adani family wedding, as most people seem to have assumed, but a Reddy family wedding that attracted Coalition parliamentarians Barnaby Joyce, Teresa Gambaro and Julie Bishop to their now infamous rort of Australian taxpayers in 2013. GVK Hancock have been content to keep a low profile for years and are only now emerging as the victors in the Galilee Basin coal wars as Adani’s future hits stormy weather. That has always been the main game in town. Their Alpha and Kevin’s Corner mines are at the southern end of the Galilee Basin and could be far easier to service with a rail line built by Aurizon (formerly the Government owned Queensland Rail) than the Adani mine sites at the northern end of the Galilee Basin. And of course Barnaby’s and Canavan’s much cultivated benefactor Gina has very deep pockets at present. Now that Clive Palmer is being deluged with funds from his iron ore venture with Chinese partners in WA, his Waratah Coal holdings in the Galilee Basin are also making headlines. There is absolutely no doubt that these climate destroying interests are alive and well and about to launch themselves into the void that Adani is leaving. BEWARE!!

  10. paul walter

    Interesting to see the Chinese brought into it again, given the scope of their interference during the Adani antics of earlier times.

  11. Kaye Lee

    So Tony Abbott and Craig Kelly are threatening to cross the floor if they don’t get their way on the NEG supporting coal. LET THEM! They can cross the floor and keep on walking out the door. Time to dump these dinosaurs.

  12. Liz Thornton

    I am relieved to discover that the gut instinct I had the day I saw Gina in her big hat shouting about the Carbon Tax,that she was a real threat to our country. Her father appears to have led her to be a narcissist who has no concept of ethics or morality and just says SMINE..SMINE.SMINE. 😫. 🤑. 💩

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