To ensure it can export coal from its proposed Carmichael coal complex in Australia’s coal-rich state of Queensland by 2016, Indian giant Adani has clinched an agreement with Australian shipper QR National to link with its corridor to the port.
Infrastructure shortcomings in Queensland’s Galilee Basin have recently prompted the state government to call for an expansion of rail corridors in the region.
In a joint statement, Adani chairman Gautam Adani and QR National managing director Lance Hockridge said preliminary work between the two companies under a Memorandum of Understanding will now move into a feasibility stage.
The study will assess rail infrastructure and haulage services for 60 – 80 million tonnes of thermal coal per annum from Carmichael to the Abbot Point Coal Terminal and/or the future Dudgeon Point Coal Terminal for export to address the acute Indian energy shortfall.
The agreement with QRN would mean Adani needs to only develop 180 km of rail track to link up with QRN’s existing infrastructure instead of developing a dedicated greenfields 500km corridor, the option being pursued by fellow Indian mine developer GVK and Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal for their mines in the Galilee Basin.
Adani said: “A vertically integrated solution where Adani and QR National work across the mine, rail and port interfaces will result in a very efficient and cost effective supply chain.
“The joint evaluation will draw on the significant work done to date by both parties on logistics solutions – Adani with its mine and port developments, and QR National through its Central Queensland Integrated Rail Project.”
QR National and GVK – which is developing the $6.4 billion Alpha project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin with Hancock Coal –welcomed the Queensland government’s announcement last month of two rail corridors to service new and existing coal mines in the Galilee and Bowen Basins.
An east-west corridor will see an extension of the existing QRN network from near Moranbah to the central Galilee Basin and will provide links to coal ports at Abbot Point, Dalrymple Bay and Dudgeon Point.
A north-south rail corridor will be defined along the proposed GVK-Hancock Coal alignment to facilitate the construction of new standard gauge rail lines to link the proposed large-scale, vertically integrated mining operations in the southern Galilee Basin to Abbot Point.
Hockridge said: “Through preliminary work we’ve been doing with Adani, it became clear there was an alignment of interests in developing an integrated rail solution for their Carmichael mine.
“The decision by the Queensland government declaring a common rail corridor means that we can now accelerate work on the feasibility of the rail solution required.”
The proposed open cut and underground coal mining complex at Carmichael is expected to produce more than 60Mtpa at peak production. The project has an expected mine life of 150 years.