After 500 coal trains Adani says it can no longer be called a joke

Adani has exported its 500th coal train from the Carmichael mine to the port at Abbot Point and said its project could no longer be seen as a joke as it powers into an era of booming prices.

Sep 28, 2022, updated Sep 28, 2022
Kate Campbell with some of the first coal mined from Carmichael

Kate Campbell with some of the first coal mined from Carmichael

It coincided with comments overnight from its chairman Gautum Adani that the company would invest $US100 million over the coming decade with the majority directed into energy transition and solar energy.

The company’s head of communications in Brisbane Kate Campbell posted on social media that “only a few years ago Adani Group’s ambition to build a 200km railway and a new open-cut thermal coal mine in Queensland was regarded in some circles as an out-and-out joke – a fantasy project that would never be financed, built or profitable.”

The catalyst for the statement was Adani subsidiary the Bowen Rail Company being named as a finalist at an industry awards night for diversity and inclusion as well as in other categories.

“Last week BRC ran its 500th train carrying quality thermal coal from Bravus Mining & Resources’ Carmichael Mine to the North Queensland Export Terminal at Abbot Point for export at a time of all-time high coal prices,” Campbell said.

The company faced a wall of opposition from activists and a State Government that first supported it then opposed it before the project finally was given approval after a big swing to the LNP in regional Queensland coal seats at the 2019 Federal election.

Many considered the project would fail or become a stranded asset as funding for coal dried up globally. Geopolitics changed that.

First China’s trade bans on Australian coal had a reverse effect by pushing up prices and then Russia invaded Ukraine and bans were placed on its coal.

Protests against the company continue, but it has started production at a time of record-breaking coal prices of well over $US400 a tonne for Newcastle coal.

Campbell cited Commodity Insights’ Mark Gresswell and his forecast that demand for seaborne thermal coal would continue to increase, driven by energy demand from nations in Asia and southeast Asia, like India, where rapidly growing populations are emerging from poverty and need thermal coal to create affordable reliable energy to complement renewables.

“This is so they can enjoy the quality of life we in developing nations take for granted with air-conditioning, lights, stoves, electrical and consumer goods,” she said.

Campbell said India’s Central Electricity Authority flagged earlier this month that an additional 28 gigawatts of new coal-fired thermal power stations would be needed by 2032 on top of the 25 gigawatts of capacity already under construction.

“The fact is coal will play a major role in the energy transition alongside renewables for decades to come. That means the Bowen Rail Company’s trains have many, many more trips ahead of them,” she said.



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