Thursday, February 27, 2014

New pressure on Gujarat's Adani group coalmining contract in Australia: Two cos in project area withdraw

By Our Representative
Pressure on Gujarat’s powerful Adani Group -- which is contracted along with few other top international companies to develop one of world’s biggest coalmines in Queensland province of Australia -- does not seem to be abating. Following well-known environmental group Greenpeace’s campaign against coalmining in the region, at least two companies have withdrawn from the Abbot Point coal port. The latest to withdraw is Lend Lease, world’s leading fully integrated property and infrastructure solutions company.
“This follows BHP Billiton’s decision in November last year to withdraw their proposal to build the Terminal 2 project at Abbot Point and surrender their development rights, ruling out greenfield coal infrastructure developments in a slumping coal market”, a Greenpeace media release says.
Pressure on the Adani Group and others involved in coalmining in the region began a few months ago when a a 2013 report by the US Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), sponsored by Greenpeace, said that Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, rail and terminal project in Queensland were “uncommercial”. Another report, again sponsored by Greenpeace against major Indian infrastructure company, GVK, also by IEEFA last year, saying the GVK’s $10bn Alpha coalmine, rail and terminal project were “uneconomic” and a “quagmire not an investment”, warning that “no investor should take part”.
In its press release from Brisbane, Australia, Greenpeace said, with this in Australia’s “Abbot Point coal port expansion, Indian coal companies Adani and GVK are last men standing.” It claimed, Lend Lease announced that it pulled out of the highly contentious AP-X coal terminal at Abbot Point in Queensland, alongside Australia’s World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef as “proponents of coal terminal expansion at Abbot Point are increasingly recognising the environmental, reputational, material and financial risks of developing these damaging projects, acknowledging there is no business case to proceed, and pulling out.”
Greenpeace said, “In 2012 Rio Tinto cited ‘economic uncertainty’ for shelving plans for its port development at Fitzroy Delta in Central Queensland. The only companies still pursuing coal terminal developments at Abbot Point are Indian giants Adani (Terminal-Zero) and GVK (Terminal 1) in partnership with Hancock Coal Infrastructure. The health of their financial projects has been assessed as poor.”
Citing Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner Louise Matthiesson, the release said, “Greenpeace congratulates the Australian Youth Climate Coalition for their work in pressuring Lend Lease to withdraw from the AP-X development due to its potential impacts on the world’s climate and the Great Barrier Reef.”
Greenpeace said, Lend Lease CEO Steve McCann has “confirmed that following an internal review Lend Lease has allowed their partnership with Aurizon on the project to lapse, and were therefore no longer involved in the AP-X project at Abbot Point.” In Greenpeace’s view, “The AP-X development would require up to 13 million cubic metres of dredging in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, on top of the 3 million cubic metres of dredging already approved for the GVK and Adani projects. The Lend Lease-Aurizon partnership ‘North-Hub’ was shortlisted to develop the huge new coal terminal in April 2013 by the Queensland Government.”
It added, “The development of AP-X would require several million tonnes of seabed dredging and dumping in Reef waters. It would lead to thousands of additional ship movements each year, risking damage to the Reef, its coral and wildlife. The expansion of Abbot Point would enable the escalation of coal mining in the Galilee and Bowen Basins in central Queensland.”
Environmental group challenges Adanis in Aussie court
Greenpeace campaigner Louise Matthiesson in a separate statement has said it "applauds the North Queensland Conservation Council" for challenging coalmining in Queensland province step, claiming, "Thousands of people from around Australia and the world who have donated to a legal fighting fund to make the challenge possible." It termed the court challenge "another nail in the coffin for Adani and GVK’s Galilee Basin projects, which are already un-financial given the low world coal price.” .
"The challenge was lodged in the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal against the granting of sea-dumping permit for the dredging operation to expand the Abbot Point coal port at Abbot Point, beside the Great Barrier Reef", Greenpeace said, adding, “This challenge shows the community will not stand by and watch while this dredging and dumping operation damages the values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.”
“In order to export coal from planned new mega-mines in the Galilee Basin, Indian coal giants Adani and GVK must build new coal terminals at Abbot Point and dredge 3 million cubic metres of seabed, with the dredge spoil dumped in the ocean within the Reef Marine Park”, Greenpeace pointed out, alleging, “These projects will have destructive effects from pit-to-port, draining water supplies, clearing native bushland, spreading toxic coal dust, damaging the Great Barrier Reef and resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions than many small countries.”
Greenpeace further said, “The proposal to dredge and dump in the Reef World Heritage Area have caused a public outcry in Australia, and caught the attention of concerned people internationally. The World Heritage Committee will be meeting in Qatar in June to consider a possible ‘in-danger’ listing for the Great Barrier Reef, and this will add to their concern about the Australian Government’s failure to enforce adequate safeguards to protect the natural icon.”
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For earlier reports see:


http://www.counterview.net/2013/11/greenpeace-targets-adani-groups-10.html

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