Jeyakumar Janakaraj. Adani.
Jeyakumar Janakaraj. Adani. Contributed

Adani project won't be last for Galilee coal basin

THE massive Adani project will not be the last for the Galilee coal basin, according to the company's Australian-based chief executive, Jeyakumar Janakaraj.

A handful of other massive projects are on the drawing board for the region, including three from another Indian company, GVK, which has partnered with Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

"One hundred per cent they will (go ahead),'' Mr Janakaraj said.

"More mines will go there because we are building a 100-million- tonne railway and a 120-million-tonne port.''

Adani's full production at the Carmichael mine will only be 60 million tonnes and its first stage only 25 million tonnes, which leaves a lot of room for other projects to use its rail line and port.

"It's a no-brainer. All they have to do is go and get a contract,'' he said. "Why would they not do it?''

However, there is scepticism in the market that there is any demand for so much coal, particularly with the advances in renewable energy.

The International Energy Agency said coal's share of the power generation mix will drop to 36 per cent by 2021, from 41 per cent in 2014. But while its share of the market will fall, the volumes of coal used will continue to grow because the market is getting bigger.

A German-based green group, Urgewald, recently published a report showing there were about 1600 coal-fired power projects on the drawing board for sites around the world. About 700 will be in China.

Many of those will not go ahead, but a significant number will in China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, India and Myanmar.

Mr Janakaraj said those projects would mean the South-East Asian market would need 200 million to 300 million more tonnes of coal than they have now.

And he said people in Australia were sitting in Brisbane or Sydney or Melbourne and not seeing what was happening in Asia.

"They are sitting in a boardroom in Sydney and someone says it will all be renewable tomorrow. Those guys (in Asia) are not going to stop building.''

And despite the big advances in the renewable market, the technology was not there yet for it to dominate the energy industry the way coal does.

Adani owns the world's biggest solar farm in India and has plans to build a significant solar business in Australia. It has two solar projects planned, one in Moranbah and one in South Australia.

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