The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has welcomed the announcement by Adani (an Indian company) that the Carmichael coal mine and rail projects have received Final Investment Decision approval. Greg Evans, Executive Director – Coal, MCA notes that the decision “follows a rigorous approval process that has stretched over a six year period and also against the backdrop of a cynical activist campaign underpinned by foreign funding.
“Those activists need to reflect on how they sought to stop jobs for regional Queensland families and other Australians and also how they wanted to deny economic and social advancement of millions of Indian people seeking the very modest benefit of accessible electricity.
“The Carmichael project is a major investment project that will deliver many benefits to Queensland including the creation of thousands of jobs and increased royalty payments that will help fund essential services in Queensland like schools, hospitals and infrastructure.
“The development also provides significant impetus for the economy of northern Queensland and heralds the opening of a new coal mining province which will secure benefits over the long term.
“By utilising Australia’s high quality coal, the project will help increase access to a secure supply of electricity in India, where there are around 300 million people without electricity.
“According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal accounted for 75% of electricity generation in India in 2014 and electricity output is expected to more than double by 2040. Meanwhile over the same period coal fired power capacity is expected to increase by 275 GW from 2016 to 2040.
“India’s imports of coal are forecast to increase from 181 Mtce in 2014 to 341 Mtce in 2040. The IEA has previously observed that miners in India have to extract around 1.5 t of coal to get the same amount of energy as that contained in 1 t of Australian coal.
“The majority of coal mined will go directly to Adani-owned coal fired generation and hence establishes a new market for Australian coal.
“The 2016 IEA World Economic Outlook (WEO) states that Australian coal exports are forecast to increase from 347 Mt of coal equivalent (Mtce) to 410 Mtce by 2040 with Australia’s share of international trade growing from 32% to 37%.