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Adani gets POSCO as Abbot Point port builder

Posted on 18 December 2014

John McCarthy

ADANI has signed up Korea's POSCO as an equity partner and builder of its $1 billion T0 coal terminal at Abbot Point. 
The terminal will service the $16 billion Carmichael megamine in the Galilee Basin which has yet to get its final board approval or a mining lease.

However, the company is moving ahead with the project and expects to start development of the Northern Galilee Basin Rail project early next year. It also maintains it can produce first coal from the Carmichael mine by 2017.

The rail line alone will cost about $2 billion but Adani has previously signed up POSCO as the developer and equity partner of that as well. Both the rail and port deals with POSCO are memorandums of understanding.

The Queensland Government has also said it will invest up to $300 million in the rail scheme, but its 30-day deadline for Adani to provide details has come and gone.

However, the State Government has been a resolute supporter of the Galilee Basin and has already taken control of a controversial dredging project at Abbot Point which threatened to derail the scheme and paved the way for easier land access for the company.

Adani said yesterday that POSCO had progressed work packets and subcontracting arrangements and the transition to the building phase of the rail project would be realised in the first quarter of 2015.

Adani bought a 99-year lease over Abbot Point in 2011 for $1.8 billion and has been involved in an environmental war over the project and its impact on the Great Barrier Reef ever since.

Adani said yesterday that the expansion of Abbot Point for the 40 million tonnes a year T0 terminal was key to its plan to deliver 10,000 jobs in Queensland.

Adani's Australian country head and mining chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the deal reflected the fruitful partnership already on foot with the NGBR, and the trust both companies had developed in the working together.

"This MOU is the latest in a host of recent announcements that bring our integrated mine, rail and port project closer to first coal in 2017.

"POSCO E & C is a proven and trusted partner, and we welcome this opportunity to enhance our co-operation with them.

"From our perspective, POSCO E&C's decision to invest in this key piece of infrastructure reflects the confidence tier one players have in central components of our project such as the port's expansion", Mr Janakaraj said.

The plans to progress the rail project without a mining lease appear at odds with normal project developments but the company maintains there are different time lines at play.

The State Government has also promised to invest in other infrastructure in the Galilee Basin but has yet to reveal its plans.