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.