Port of Abbot Point
Port of Abbot Point Lee Constable

Galilee developer says it's business as usual at coalface

INDIAN energy powerhouse GVK has accused the Mackay Conservation Group of misleading the community, after it suggested its enormous Galilee Basin projects could be at risk.

"It is disappointing to see anti-mining activists once again attempt to mislead the media, local community and markets in an effort to hold back the regional and economic development that will flow from our projects," a spokesman said.

"This is a valid reminder of how these anti-mining activists' will say and do anything in order to gain coverage for their ongoing campaign of misinformation."

GVK has confirmed it is still "firmly committed" to developing coal projects in the Galilee Basin.

The firm has long said the enormous scale of its planned operations is such that even with markets in a lull, it would still make a profit on exports.

"Even in the current market conditions, our Galilee Basin coal assets are differentiated from other mines due to their projected low production costs, sought after coal quality, advanced stage of approvals, advanced stage of construction readiness and access to a proposed viable transport solution connecting our assets to export markets, the spokesman said.

"We are continuing to take our projects to a point where construction can commence and we wouldn't be doing that if we thought the projects weren't viable."
 

Seeney 'determined' to see Abbot Point solution

THE Queensland Government is determined to develop the Galilee Basin despite one of the major rail bids to connect to the Abbot Point port falling over.

The Aurizon bid to construct the rail line, which would connect the Alpha Coal Project with the port, failed to submit an environmental impact statement by last Friday's deadline.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the government wanted the number of bids to construct rail lines to drop.

"Aurizon was one of the seven or six options that were on the table at the time. It's been narrowed down to two," he said.

"The developments this morning as I understand it … have been instigated by one of those six or seven options dropping off the table, which is the result that we wanted."

Mr Seeney said the government was determined the Abbot Point terminal expansion would continue to serve the Galilee.

"We'll be doing everything we can to make sure the Galilee Basin does go ahead. And that Abbot Point will go ahead. We've got a great solution for Abbot Point."

Environmental groups have praised Aurizon's failure to finalise the bid.

Mackay Conservation Group spokeswoman Dr Moira Williams said Aurizon's failure to submit the statement raised serious questions over the Galilee's development.

"We have seen no movement on the ground for over 18 months and coal prices remain low. Both Aurizon and GVK have questions to answer about how serious they are about progressing these projects, as the lapsing of the (rail project) suggests they are walking away," she said.

"Most of the coal deposits in the Galilee Basin were bought based on the assumption that India's energy demands would ensure a ready market for the coal.

"But with world coal prices continuing to fall, the commercial viability of the projects have been called into serious question."

Mr Seeney said the decision to proceed with the other proposed lines would be up to the remaining bids from companies Adani and GVK.

"That will very much be up to the proponents," he said.

"Whether or not those two proceed will be the subject of market decisions by the proponents and what you alluded to is exactly right. It will be a case of a commercial decision by those proponents."

- APN NEWSDESK



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