Adani out of excuses

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has just given approval to Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin. This decision is sure to be challenged in court, but presumably the lawyers have been over the decision carefully, to fix up the errors that saw Hunt’s earlier approval overturned.

Assuming the decision stands up, Adani will be in the position of the dog that catches the car it’s been chasing. Adani and its advocates, like the Institute of Public Affairs, have been telling anyone who’ll listen that their marvellous project is being held up by “green tape”. The reality is that the project is as dead as a doornail.

No one will buy the coal it produces at a price that covers even the marginal cost of extraction. No bank will fund the deal: in fact, almost every potential financial institution that might provide funds has already announced a refusal (something almost unprecedented in the world of finance). Adani’s existing bankers, the Coommonwealth, walked away recently (or, in Adani’s telling, was pushed). All the contractors working on the project have been sacked, mostly without any public announcement

Most recently, Adani’s announcement of a proposed contract with Downer EDI has fallen into limbo. The contracts were supposed to be signed by 30 September, but nothing has happened. There’s a reference in the announcement to environmental approvals, so perhaps the contract will go ahead now, but, based on past form, this seems unlikely.

Adani would have done better, in PR terms, to pull the plug when the courts overturned Hunt’s initial approval. Perhaps they have a secret plan to salvage something from this mess, but it’s hard to see how this can work.

55 thoughts on “Adani out of excuses

  1. Chris, I’m not going to provide “…evidence that the cost of solar and wind power will keep declining to be cheaper than the operating cost of coal-burning power” because I never wrote that it would. If you look back at what I have written you will see no sign of it. You have misunderstood what I have written.

  2. @Chris O’Neill

    Personal attack? That’s a bit like the pot calling the kettle black but I’m gonna have to put you on the do not reply to list. You should be safe from personal attacks if you don’t attack people first.

  3. @Ronald Brak

    I never wrote that it would

    OK, if you want to be a smart so-and-so about this then provide some evidence for this claim:

    new coal plant construction will cease as the cost of solar power and wind power continue to decline

    In particular why do you assume that solar power and wind power WILL become cheap enough for this to happen? Just because they get somewhat cheaper than they are now doesn’t mean they will put coal out of business which I would have presumed was the objective.

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