Adani clears another legal hurdle for Australian coal project

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Sydney, Aug 29 (IANS) India’s Adani Enterprises, after overcoming one of its last legal hurdles, has said the construction of its Carmichael coal project in Australia’s Queensland state will begin in 2017.

Australia’s Federal Court on Monday dismissed an appeal by the Australian Conservation Foundation that had argued that authorities had failed to take into account the impact of burning coal and climate pollution on the Great Barrier Reef, Xinhua news agency reported.

Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael coal project in Queensland state’s Galilee basin is the largest in Australia but has suffered multiple setbacks from green groups’ legal action.

Adani Australia, in a written statement on Facebook, said that it had welcomed the Federal Court ruling, adding that the decision closely follows an August 19 dismissal of another activist-driven legal challenge designed to delay the project.

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Consistent with earlier decisions of Queensland’s Land Court and the Federal Court affirming the company’s approvals, it has determined that due process has been followed, the statement added.

“A recent report by PwC quantified the cost of these delays as being some 3 billion Australian dollars ($2.26 billion) to the economy and over 1,600 jobs annually over the first 10 years of the intended projects,” it said.

“In local communities, a state and a national economy crying out for growth, this represents a significant cost to the community, not just to Adani.”

The company said it has been consistently pointing out that these projects will supply better quality coal for an increased thermal demand, in conjunction with significantly increased solar demand, in a growing Indian economy that will lift hundreds of millions of people out of energy poverty.

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“If the better-quality, better-regulated coal from Australia is not sourced in Queensland, it will simply mean lower quality, higher emitting coal from elsewhere in the world will be used,” Adani said.

“So the activists will not only harm local jobs, but if they get their way (it) would ensure higher emissions as well.”



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