Adani Australia today named Rockhampton and Townsville as the company’s joint fly-in, fly-out hubs for the $16.5 billion Carmichael coal project.
The company said the cities had put in strong individual business cases to “fly solo”, but would instead act as twin marshalling points for one of the largest industrial projects in Australia’s recent history.
“After eight years of challenge, the Carmichael Project is under way, signalling the opening of the Galilee Basin which will drive the growth of the emerging Asian ‘Tiger’ economies including India,” Adani Australia chief executive officer and country head Jeyakumar Janakaraj said.
“We continue to face activists but we are under way. Recent attempts by activists to disrupt our operations, and TV programs aimed at undermining community support, have failed.”
Mr Janakaraj said the first activity would be construction of an airstrip close to the mine to deliver construction workers from Townsville and Rockhampton.
“Then we can start construction of the Carmichael thermal coal mine and the western sections of the Carmichael Rail Network,” Mr Janakaraj said.
He said the FIFO decision had been difficult.
“Both cities are winners,” Mr Janakaraj said.
“Rockhampton and Townsville put in commercially strong and competitive bids to be the single FIFO hub for the Carmichael Project.”
The FIFO announcement follows other progress on the project including:
- Awarding of contracts worth more than $150 million for rail lines and sleepers
- Awarding contract to Downer Mining for construction and operation of Carmichael mine
- Starting pre-construction works including refurbishment of the mining camp
- Establishment of the Adani Mining HQ in Townsville with more than 150 Adani and AECOM staff
- Deployment of field staff for surveying, soil test drilling for the rail project
Adani Australia said further announcements would be made soon relating to mining machinery.
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the rivalry between Townsville and Rockhampton was long-standing, and both city’s councils had worked with Adani making their case to be a FIFO Hub.
“The Mayors both travelled to India with the Premier earlier this year to make their case to Adani’s chairman and senior management,” she said.
“Our focus has been to maximise the jobs it will generate, directly and indirectly, and see the benefits from this project spread right across regional Queensland.”
In December last year, Adani committed to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that:
- Regional headquarters for the Carmichael project would be based in Townsville (it was opened in June this year)
- Remote operations centre would be in Townsville
- Rail and port operations headquarters would be in Bowen
- Mining services based in Mackay
- Rail maintenance and provisioning yard in the Mackay-Bowen region; and
- Project sourcing centres in Townsville, Charters Towers, Rockhampton, Emerald, Clermont and Moranbah.
Mrs O’Rourke said the Carmichael coal and rail project would provide a welcome boost for the local jobs and the North Queensland economy while ensuring strict environmental protections.
“There are now almost 270 strict conditions on this project to protect the natural environment and the interests of landholders and traditional owners,” she said.