I got some questions about Adani from a friend, which I answered by email. I thought it might be useful to share the exchange
1. Whilst China and India had plans to build numerous coal fire power stations, my understanding is that many/most of those projects have not proceeded. The media often refer to planned CFFS when in fact that is misleading. I am wanting to get a fact check from a reliable/reputable/credible source so I can refute the proposition and demonstrate that coal as a fuel source is in decline.
From Tim Buckley of IEEFA, a recent piece updating the pivot away from coal in Asia
2. How does the quality/grade of coal in the Galilei Basin (incl ADANI) compare to other existing mines across Australia. My understanding is that it is poor quality but I need to be able to articulate/define what I mean by poor quality. The standard price quoted is Newcastle coal with a heat content of 6000 kcal/kg. Adani’s is 5500 kcal/kg. Normally this entails a discount of 20 to 30 per cent, but the recent recovery in the Newcastle coal price pushed this as high as 50 per cent. Here’s a link to the AFR, which won’t open for me, suggesting a price of $US50 to $55/tonne, compared to around $100 for Newcastle at the time
Newcastle coal has fallen a bit since then, but lower grades haven’t recovered
3.Finance for new coal mines is drying up everywhere, not just in Australia. Reductions in our supply are unlikely to be offset by increases elsewhere. Here’s a list of banks which have ended direct finance for new coal mines/plants
4. The cost of doing nothing is hard to measure, and could be huge, but the Stern Review gave an estimate of 4 to 5 per cent of GDP. Estimates of less than 1 per cent have been made by Warwick McKibbin and others. Even the Fisher estimates being quoted by the government aren’t large relative to GDP – it’s basically a matter of presentational tricks. More on this soon, I hope,