Mumbai: Australia has granted approval to the Adani Group-controlled Adani Mining Pty Ltd's $15.5 billion Carmichael coal and rail project in Queensland.
The approval was announced by Australian environment minister Greg Hunt, who said he had imposed 36 strict conditions on the project, meant to protect environment.
“After undertaking a thorough assessment and consideration under national environment law, I have approved the Carmichael coal mine and rail infrastructure project, subject to 36 strict conditions. The absolute strictest of conditions have been imposed to ensure the protection of the environment, with a specific focus on the protection of groundwater,” said Greg Hunt, Australia's minister for the environment, in a media statement.
“It is estimated the project will provide electricity for up to 100 million people in India,” said Hunt in the statement.
The Carmichael project in the untapped Galilee Basin, designed to produce 60 million tonnes a year of thermal coal used in power stations, has been opposed by environmental activist groups. They had objected both to new coal mines and the rail lines and ports needed to ship the coal.
Adani Enterprises Ltd, the parent company of Adani Mining, had sought permission for a 300km rail link in Australia.
Adani Enterprises acquired the project in 2010 with the aim of generating output by 2016.
“At full export capacity, the project is expected to contribute almost $930 million to the Mackay region's gross regional product and $2.97 billion to the Queensland economy each year for the next 60 years. It will generate an estimated 2,475 construction jobs and a further 3,920 jobs during the operations phase,” Hunt said in a statement posted on the government's website.