Return of Adani’s big yellow grader

Adani’s chief executive Lucas Dow is yet again claiming that the company is “ready to go” with the Carmichael mine, as soon as the government approves it. As usual, we get a picture of Adani’s fleet of heavy earthmoving equipment, consisting of one big yellow grader.

Adani’s $2 billion at work

At least the journalist visiting the site shows a bit of scepticism this time, noting that Dow’s claims that he could start today, made while standing next to a 5-metre wide strip of cleared scrub, require a bit of imagination.

Just for fun, I thought I’d work out how much of Adani’s supposed $2 billion budget is being spent on this piece of theatre. From what I can see, graders like the one in the picture can be hired for $1-2000 a day, which would give a total of at most $250 000 since the latest go-ahead was announced late last year. I imagine Lucas Dow could just about finance that out of his pocket, without needing to call on Mr Adani’s much greater resources.

The report goes on to mention the mining camp, with a capacity of 250 beds, nearly entirely empty at the moment. The reporter notes that it’s way too small for the supposed demands of the project, but is perhaps unaware that it was built some years ago, when there was a real prospect that it would go ahead. My rough estimate is that a setup like this would cost around $10 million, though its depreciated value would be a lot less.

It seems clearer than ever that Adani is hanging out for compensation, with no intention of actually pouring $2 billion into a project that has almost zero chance of long-term financial viability. Either that or waiting for something, like a resurgence on the coal price, or a sweetheart political deal in India, to turn up.

Perhaps the state government could offer to buy everything currently on site – the grader, dongas and anything else that is actually present, rather than being an accounting entry.

8 thoughts on “Return of Adani’s big yellow grader

  1. …hanging out for compensation… or maybe using this a some sort of “collateral” for other new investments around the world?

  2. I was expecting to see a little red car with the big yellow grader. But all I saw was a little white car in the background.

    I hope they are going to remediate that bit of scrub they needlessly knocked down. Maybe I’ll get Captain Feathersword to tickle them.

  3. They took all the trees
    And put them in a tree museum
    And they charged all the people
    A dollar and a half to see ’em

  4. John

    The grader would be on an hourly rate plus float and is it’s only done about 2 maybe 3 days work I doubt if there’s much cost at all. They are probably stringing the contractor along using projections of a mega proportion to keep them on side.

    The contractor would most likely be a local, no serious outfit would go there without a contract.

  5. What a load of drivel. The company employs more than 80 people in it’s Townsville offices right now and is recruiting actively. Contract and commercial arrangements are in place. Certain key approvals which have been held up almost 2 years are preventing active mobilisation. Australia is in danger of being deemed a sovereign risk and missing out an opportunity to engage with a country that is home to one seventh of humanity. Spitting on the industry that has made you what you are is a sure fire way to poverty.

  6. In the know,

    Proof? Sources for those employment and recruiting claims?

    A sovereign risk? What exactly do you mean by that claim? That we will default on public debt gross or net, or foreign debt gross or net (including private debt) or that we keep changing (foreign) investment rules? A definition I found for sovereign risk is;

    “Sovereign risk is the chance that a central bank will implement foreign exchange rules that will significantly reduce or negate the worth of its forex contracts. It also includes the risk that a foreign nation will either fail to meet debt repayments or not honor sovereign debt payments.”

    Are you saying we can only engage with China if we sell coal to it? This seems to leave out all other aspects of economic, cultural and government engagement. After all we export very considerable values of ores (much more value than coal), gas, gems, precious metals, wool, meat, wood, copper, salt – sulphur – stone – cement, cereals and beverages to China. We get some pretty important imports too plus Chinese tourists of course.

    Finally, what about the risk of climate change? If you start up with climate change denialism I want to know where you got your PhD in atmospheric physics or other relevant degree, where your peer reviewed scientific papers are published and so on.

  7. And the abc used the same grader pic.

    KT2 says:

    APRIL 11, 2019 AT 11:15 AM

    …”it was enough for Ms Price” !!!
    …”Adani’s responses should satisfy”… a 14yr old in a persuasive writing test is able to be more definitive. This from the Head of CSIRO Land & Water Jane Coram! which provides weight to agree with “a crisis of science integrity and maladministration at the highest levels in CSIRO”.

    Read more:- https://johnquiggin.com/2019/04/08/monday-message-board-414/comment-page-1/#comment-209048

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