Adani granted 20 per cent boost to annual coal exports through Abbot Point terminal
Summary: Adani has been given the green light to increase its north Queensland coal exports by 20 per cent, meaning about 60 million tonnes of the resource could be transferred through its Abbot Point terminal each year.....
The approval from the Queensland coordinator-general came a month after the State Government announced it would take the mining giant to court for the alleged illegal release of coal-laden waternear the Great Barrier Reef.
The State Government launched a separate investigation into a series of groundwater bores drilled by Adani, which conservationists said were sunk without approval.
Documents obtained by the ABC show the Government approved a 10-million-tonne increase in annual coal export capacity through Adani's Abbot Point terminal, above the previously approved limit of 50 million tonnes.
It is understood Adani was already allowed to export a total of 90 million tonnes per year between its existing port terminal, T1, and a yet-to-be-built T0 terminal, and that the Government has shifted the 10 million tonnes from T0 to T1.
Adani's T1 terminal is currently operating at 28 million tonnes a year.
While the approval was not related to the court matter or investigation, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said it showed the Government was not taking a holistic approach in its dealings with Adani.
"The Government really needs to be applying proper scrutiny to this project and not just simply approving more expansions for the Abbot Point coal terminal," ACF campaigner Christian Slattery said.
The ACF said the latest approval also flew in the face of warnings from the scientific community this week about the consequences of coal on climate change.
"It shows that the Queensland Government is failing in their duty to transition Queensland and Australia off fossil fuels and towards clean energy," Mr Slattery said.
Amended approval 'doesn't increase capacity'
A spokesman for the coordinator-general said the applications were assessed in accordance with the law.
"The recently amended approval does not increase the capacity of proposed facilities at Abbot Point," he said.
"The coordinator-general has approved, subject to strict conditions, development applications in the Abbot Point state development area for port facilities."
The expansion application is on the condition that Adani ensures any construction works and operations cause no environmental damage.
The document also said the coordinator-general would need more information from Adani to demonstrate how any additional water use would not result in further water releases from the operation.
An spokeswoman for the mining company said the Adani Abbot Point terminal submitted the material change of use application as part of feasibility studies to enhance the terminal's capacity.
"This is part of normal business practice in managing capacity requests from all existing and prospective users of the terminal facilities," she said.