India’s Adani Group plans to begin extracting coal from the $16.5 billion Carmichael project in Australia in 2020 after environmental protests delayed the first phase of the mine.
The company will begin work on the project three months after it gets final approval from Australia’s federal government, Gautam Adani, billionaire chairman of the Indian group said on Friday. Adani expects permission from Malcolm Turnbull’s government for the project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin as early as May, with a final investment decision by May or June, he said.
The project is meant to fuel power generation for 100 million Indians and create 10,000 jobs in Queensland. It will likely proceed given the pressing need for fresh sources of power generation in India, according to David Lennox, an analyst with Fat Prophets in Sydney.
“They are looking to have a complete supply line from the coal face to the electric consumer in India and don’t want to be hostage to outside companies for generation,” he said. “That gives it extra impetus.”
Protests against Australia’s largest coal project had delayed production, prompting the company to cut underground mining capacity by 38 percent. Environmentalists are concerned that the development will threaten vulnerable species including a lizard known as the yakka skink, as well as the Great Barrier Reef.
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